The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
June 17, 2012 § 2 Comments
Yesterday night, I broke my addiction to Netflix and I stepped into a movie theatre with my good friend Maryanne. By accident, it was a movie about living alone in older age in the UK! My friend is passionate about British acting.
I was amazed to see so many specters on aging alone in the US popping up from the script. Too busy eating my sushi, I could not take notes. Judy Dench is a widow who inherited a ton of debt from her husband. Maggie Smith flies to India to have a hip operation that would be too expensive in England. Tom Wilkinson is a gay retiree who spent most of his life in an emotional jail. There are also two single seniors wondering whether it is too late for them to find a partner and enjoy orgasms. All the characters of the movie find rather natural to move into an hotel for “the elderly and the beautiful” in a town in India. The ageism that emerges in the movie is disheartening, despite the terrific acting and the happy ending.
So many thoughts emerged. Does “the elderly and beautiful” name of the hotel mean that you are either old or beautiful? Is segregation by age becoming more and more natural in England too? Are social welfare policies in England good enough to accommodate the growing needs of older Britons living solo? Is ageism in the UK stronger than I imagined?