Srinivasa Ramanujan Iyengar was a mathematical prodigy as a child, his knowledge and understanding of numbers far superseding that of the college-age lodgers that lived in his poverty stricken home in Madras, India. It was no wonder then, that the turn of the 20th century saw him admitted to one of Britain's most prestigious educational institutions; Trinity College, Cambridge. Endorsed by veteran professor G. H. Hardy, Ramanujan left his wife and family in India to follow his dream in England, becoming a mathematical pioneer and inventing innumerable theorems that baffled even the most senior of his peers. Unfortunately, Ramanujan and Hardy didn't make the best of collaborators; while the former strongly believed in his faith and often relied on his own intuition, the latter was deeply atheistic and only focused on definitive, provable fact. Thus, he was frequently quick to point out his Indian protege's mistakes of which there were many, amongst some of the genuine mathematical breakthroughs.
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On the morning of 8th February 2000, Robert Stewart (Leeshon Alexander) was brought to a prison in Feltham. He was placed into a cell with Zahid Mubarek (Aymen Hamdouchi). Stewart, a troubled youth, has a history of violent abuse and arson attacks. He is imprisoned for vehicle offences and abusive letters. He also bears Klu Klux Klan tattoos across his body. In the cell, Mubarek becomes wary of the strange man he must now live with, requesting the chance to moves cells. The request is denied, leading to a sting of horrific events that soon follow.
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A badly under-developed script leaves a fine cast without much to do in this sequel to the 2012 hit. Reuniting in India, the actors find moments of comedy and emotion that help make the film watchable, and the big Bollywood-style finale leaves the audience with a smile on its face. But the simplistic plot-threads never amount to much at all, which leaves the project feeling like a missed opportunity to deepen the characters and push the premise in more interesting directions.
Business at the hotel in Jaipur is booming, so managers Sonny (Dev Patel) and Muriel (Maggie Smith) are looking for investors to expand into a second property. But this distracts Sonny from his upcoming wedding to Sunaina (Tena Desae), and she's not too happy about that. There are also two new guests (Richard Gere and Tamsin Grieg) who may be important. Meanwhile, Evelyn (Judi Dench) is offered a new job just as she realises she might like to pursue a relationship with Douglas (Bill Nighy), whose ex-wife (Penelope Wilton) turns up unexpectedly. Madge (Celia Imrie) is struggling to choose between her many suitors. And Norman and Carol (Ronald Pickup and Diana Hardcastle) are having relationship issues due to their lack of communication.
All of these momentous plots, and a few more, swirl around over the course of about a week, which means that none ever has a chance to develop. It also means that the characters are all so busy with their own stories that they don't interact very much, and what contact they do have feels rather contrived. As a result, the film feels like an awkward mix of disconnected slapstick, farce and melodrama. That said, these high-powered actors can hold together even the flimsiest scene. Dench and Nighy generate some lovely emotional resonance in their contrived storyline, while Smith finds some quiet pathos in Muriel's own journey, even if the filmmakers seem to have forgotten to hire someone to do her costumes, hair and make-up.
Continue reading: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Review
Set eight months after the 2012 original film, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel sees the majority of the cast return India for this sequel from director John Madden. In the run up to Sonny's (Dev Patel) wedding to Sunaina (Tena Desae), he is struggling to find the time to work at his hotel. With only one room left in the hotel, Sonny is confronted with an interesting situation when two new arrivals turn up - Guy (Richard Gere) and Lavinia (Tamsin Greig). With help from Murial (Maggie Smith) acting as the co-manager, will Sonny will be able to juggle his personal and working lives?
Srinivasa Ramanujan Iyengar was a mathematical prodigy as a child, his knowledge and understanding of...
On the morning of 8th February 2000, Robert Stewart (Leeshon Alexander) was brought to a...
A badly under-developed script leaves a fine cast without much to do in this sequel...