ANNE HATHAWAY GETS TO INTIMATELY KNOW THE MAN BEHIND THE FAME IN “SONG ONE”

Time fates destiny in “Song One” as Anne Hathaway stars as Franny, an anthropologist doing research in Morocco, returns to New York when her brother HENRY (Ben Rosenfield), a young musician, suffers an accident that leaves him comatose.  In a chance instant, a young musician’s life is abruptly interrupted when Henry, absorbed in the music playing on his headphones, steps off a curb into the path of a taxi.

As she reconnects with her family, she begins to understand and appreciate the depth of Henry‘s commitment to music, seeking out the performers and venues that Henry loved. In the course of her quest, she meets James Forester (Johnny Flynn), Henry’s musical idol, whose success and fame belie a shy and private man. A strong romantic connection sparks between Franny and James, set against the backdrop of Brooklyn’s modern-folk music scene.

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The James Forester Franny sees onstage is charismatic in a modest, folky way— captivating an adoring crowd with his well-known and well-loved songs and his plaintive vocals, evocative, personal lyrics, and multilayered dobro guitar and violin. Offstage, James is shy but kindly with the fans who press him for autographs and hugs.  Overcoming her embarrassment, Franny approaches James to tell him Henry’s story and give him a copy of Henry’s CD.  In her quest to absorb as much as she can about to absorb as much as she can about Henry’s life and the music world he loved, Franny takes Henry’s notebook as her guide, seeking out artists and venues that he admired. Franny captures it all with a sound recorder, hoping the playback in Henry’s hospital room will somehow rouse his brain to consciousness.  Unexpectedly, James shows up in Henry’s hospital room, guitar in hand.  Not only did James actually listen to the CD, he thought enough of Henry’s talent – and it seems, of Franny – to come visit.

In the spirit of stimulating Henry’s brain, James sings him a song, a sad elegy to a vanished mother.  Franny sees that the way to understand a contradiction like James—private, inward and self-effacing, yet publicly successful—is through his words and music. Her great regret is that she never got to know her own brother in the same way.  As the attraction between them begins to glimmer, James and Franny start to spend late nights together, exploring music ranging from open mic night to stomping bluegrass to smoky chanteuse to old-school soul, dancing to high-energy electronica, pre-dawns on a rooftop and the Greenpoint waterfront watching the skyline, telling each other their stories, making up silly songs, falling in love, confiding. Franny confesses that she cut off contact with Henry because she disapproved of him dropping out of college to pursue his musical dream, and James admits that he hasn’t been able to write a single song since his first album achieved acclaim.  James will soon wrap up his tour and return to his isolated cabin in Maine. Meanwhile, the weight of Henry’s condition hangs over everything.

As James’ tour winds down, Franny witnesses two breakthroughs – Henry’s eyes flickering back to consciousness, and James, in his last tour show, debuting a new song inspired by Henry and dedicated to her. Whether her bond with James was a fleeting moment or the start of a long story, Franny has won her own breakthroughs too—another chance with family, a love of music, and a more open heart.

“Song One” opens March 25 in cinemas nationwide from Pioneer Films.

“PAPER TOWNS” TRAILER AND FIRST-LOOK PHOTOS REVEAL

20th Century Fox has finally revealed the first trailer and first set of photos of the much-anticipated story on a unique kind of friendship in the upcoming “teenthralling” movie “Paper Towns” directed by Jake Schreier.

Adapted from the bestselling novel by author John Green (“The Fault in Our Stars”), “Paper Towns” is a coming-of-age story centering on Quentin (Nat Wolff)  and his enigmatic neighbor Margo (Cara Delevingne), who loved mysteries so much she became one. After taking him on an all-night adventure through their hometown, Margo suddenly disappears–leaving behind cryptic clues for Quentin to decipher. The search leads Quentin and his quick-witted friends on an exhilarating adventure that is equal parts hilarious and moving. Ultimately, to track down Margo, Quentin must find a deeper understanding of true friendship–and true love.

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John Green commented, “It’s really a story about friendship and about all different kinds of love, not just romantic love but also the love between friends and how difficult it can be to understand that other people are really people, that they’re just as complex as we are. . . .This film is different (from my other works): it has elements of comedy and mystery and romance.”

Nat  Wolff described his character Quentin as “very soulful and cerebral, and he plays it safe. He lives in a fantasy and doesn’t live in the present. But through this adventure, everything is thrown into question because he is so in love with this girl Margot who has become more of an idea to him than a fully-fledged person. But she represents what he doesn’t have, which is freedom, and that’s what he really wants.”

Cara Delevingne said, “I auditioned for the role. I am a big  fan of John Green and I fell in love with  the  role [of Margo] and with the book. His interpretation of teenagers and coming of age stories are incredible and very real. I didn’t think I would get the part; it was a dream role for me.”

Trailer link below:

Join Q & Margo in their search for love and freedom in  “Paper Towns” when it opens June 4 in local cinemas nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

GILLIAN ANDERSON RETURNS TO SCI-FI ACTION IN “ROBOT OVERLORDS”

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Gillian Anderson, widely known in her role as FBI agent Dana Scully in the worldwide phenomenon sci-fi television series “X-Files” stars anew in the upcoming action adventure “Robot Overlords” where space robots descend to earth to take over directed by Jon Wright.

“Robot Overlords” premises and promises a whole lot of action adventure set in a futuristic world where kids become heroes who fight against the gargantuan robots that took control of the earth.  Anderson stars as Kate who have kids living with her in a world run by robots who soon break out in search of a father who’s gone missing.  Humans have been confined in their houses after the earth has been conquered by robots from a distant galaxy, the survivors are forced to wear electronic implants for total control of the world.

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Trapped in their houses and living in a present where a bleak future awaits, the quartet of kids led by Sean Flynn (Callan McAuliffe) set out to find his father after discovering a way to disable the tracking device that holds them imprisoned in their house.  In their Robot occupied country, where city centres are devastated, the kids must face a series of challenges that includes intimidating Sentries that patrol the streets, Snipers that are merciless death machines, the Mediator that deceptively childlike but unnervingly coercive and the Cube, a massive mother-ship that dominates the horizon.

“Robot Overlords” also stars Sir Ben Kingsley, Ella Hunt, James Tarpey, Milo Parker, Steven Mackintosh, Geraldine James, Tamer Hassan and Roy Hudd.

“Robot Overlords” opens this March 25 in theatres nationwide from Pioneer Films.

“Shaun The Sheep – The Movie”

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Based on beloved children’s TV character Shaun series, the ‘Shaun the Sheep’ big-screener takes our woolly hero out of the farm and into the big city.

When Shaun decides to take the day off and have some fun, he gets a little more action than he bargained for! Shaun’s mischief inadvertently leads to The Farmer being taken away from the farm, to the Big City…

Join Shaun, Bitzer and The Flock on their hilarious, action-packed, big screen adventure as they make plans to rescue the missing Farmer. A story about how we sometimes forget to appreciate the things we have in life, and the people who love us. “Shaun the Sheep-The Movie” introduces us to two new Aardman characters; Trumper the animal warden who rules the city’s animal shelter with a rod of iron and Slip, an inner city orphan dog who helps Shaun save the day.

SHAUN THE SHEEP- The Movie” released and distributed by  CAPTIVE CINEMA.

‘It Follows’ Is a Teen Horror Movie Like You’ve Never Seen It Before! Soon in Philippine theatres.

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A sexually transmitted haunting plagues a Detroit teenager in this stylized horror film from director David Robert Mitchell (The Myth of the American Sleepover). In the wake of sleeping with a handsome stranger, Jay (Maika Monroe) quickly learns that she has inherited a most unusual curse: wherever she goes, lumbering, half-naked phantoms follow, and their singular goal is to see her dead. Desperate, Jay turns to her younger sister and loyal circle of friends to for help. In time, however, Jay learns that her only hope for escaping death is to sleep with someone else, and pass the curse on. But the pursuing phantoms are invisible to Jay’s friends and it soon becomes apparent that her time is running out, and fast. Now, with death closing in, the terrified young woman will be forced to make a difficult decision if she hopes to survive her terrifying ordeal.

IT FOLLOWS’’ is released and distributed by CAPTIVE CINEMA.

Terry Gilliam talks about the meaning of life and the end of the universe in The Zero Theorem

Terry Gilliam‘s new film The Zero Theorem touches on a lot of his established aesthetic signposts while exploring new thematic ground with its questions about the universe and how we all wait for permission for the wrong things. The film stars Christoph Waltz as Qohen Leth, a computer hacker who searches for the meaning of life while being distracted by Management, a shadowy figure from an Orwellian corporation.  Melanie ThierryTilda Swinton, and David Thewlis also star.

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Watching this movie it became kind of clear to me that this Sisyphean sort of task that the protagonist has can be really subjective to the viewer.  Can you talk about his psychology and why you feel he is initially beholden to this task?

I suppose my feeling about him is that he basically is a guy who is good at something, at one thing, which is manipulating entities.  He’s brilliant at it.  That’s his skill and that’s what he does.  That’s the only thing he does.  What’s odd about it, he doesn’t think about what the job means.  He’s so distracted by this hopeful phone call that’s going to give him the meaning of life.  So he’s doing this job just because he’s a workaholic, I guess.  It occupies his time and he’s good at it, and that’s about it.  That’s what surprised me about the character, he’s so distracted by this phone call that’s supposed to tell him the meaning of his life that he doesn’t think about what he’s doing, he just does.  That, to me, is what a lot of people are about.  They do their job and they don’t think about the  larger ramifications of it or even consider it.  They’re happy to have a job.  I’m not sure if I even like him as a character, because he’s so self-absorbed, selfish, and wants somebody to tell him what it’s all about rather than solving the problem of life, of his own life.  There’s not much more about him than that other than the fact that he’s certainly been scarred by life.  He’s had relationships that have not worked out and rather than fighting on he’s just given up relationships.  He’s a very human being [laughs].

Oh yeah.  It doesn’t appear that you’ve worked with Pat Rushin before, so is this something where you came across the script or is this something that you developed together?  It seems like it very much has your voice in it as well.

What really happened, Dick Zanuck, the famous Dick Zanuck who is no longer with us, had been trying to get me to do this film for some time, and when I first read the script I thought “Ah, this is good.  It’s full of a lot of really interesting ideas, a lot of questions, I like the characters, I like the dialogue.”  And also it felt like he had seen every movie I had made because there are references, in different ways, to all of them in there and I thought, “Okay, this is kind of easy.”  That was how it began and I had a few thoughts about the script and shared them with Pat on email, I had never met him until we were actually shooting the film, a few things back and forth.  And then it all went belly-up and it didn’t happen.  I went off and did The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and then I was involved in Quixote after that.  Then Quixote fell apart and I said, “Jesus, this is another year going by without another film.”  My agent suggested checking to see if Zero Theorem still had interest for the financiers, and it did, so I said, “Let’s just go for it and do it.”  That was kind of it.  It was a very different approach than normally.  I said we’ll just jump in and go to town rather than brooding about it for a couple years.  I kind of discovered what it was primarily in the editing room when it was all over.  I kind of worked out what it was and what we needed to fix and change, so there was a lot of interesting work in the editing room.

Christoph Waltz is in almost every scene of the film and his character goes through so much,  there must be so many things that are difficult to relate in an initial meeting.  How do you communicate to an actor that you’re going to guide him through?

Well I didn’t, I don’t.  I said, “Christoph, this is your film.  You’re on screen almost non-stop.  I’ll follow you.”  [Laughs] We had bumped into each other a couple years earlier and said, “We’ve got to work together.”  I was a huge fan of his work and apparently he was the same with me.  So we just jumped into in that way.  I knew that with Christoph – he’s an interesting character because unlike a lot of big name stars now, because he is a bankable name, he spent a half a century before he was recognized as a great actor, so there’s a lot of stuff going on inside him for all those years that he was bypassed or ignored and I thought he could dredge that stuff up, which he did.  He’s just breathtaking to work with because it’s so small, it’s so delicate what he’s doing, and it’s always watchable and believable.  We talked about various aspects of the character and initially he didn’t like the idea of the character referring to himself in the third person all the time, but then he did some research and talked to psychiatrists who explained to him that if you spend a lot of time alone you start doing just that, so he was happy.  Christoph was very – he does his work, basically.  Then we started shooting and we’re having a good time because I make it enjoyable and he’s smart and he’s funny.  We just every day, “Oh, I don’t know.  I think it should be a little more like this, a bit more like that” and we both kind of feel our way through it, but he basically led the whole way.

Do you take comfort in the fact that the universe will eventually contract into nothing?  Do you share the philosophy?

No, I wouldn’t say comfort.  I take comfort in the fact that I won’t be around when that happens [laughs].  Whatever happens, happens.  It’s nothing to be proud of or look forward to, if it happens, and it probably will happen assuming contemporary theories about big bang and the way the universe functions are correct – they may be completely wrong – but based on what we know now that seems to be what’s going to happen.  [Laughs] So make the most of it while you’re here folks, and try not and speed the process too much.

It’s interesting that we look to that as sort of permission to go with that philosophy since I doubt any human being will be around anyway at that point.  We should maybe be looking at our own mortality as the signpost for that.  

Your Republican will do that, yes.  Your Republican thinks like that.  I remember when Reagan was president, the secretary of the interior was a guy who was an Armageddonist who actually believed the end of days were not too far in the distant future.  He was put in charge of the environment and his approach was of course, not to protect it, but let’s get as much money as we can before Jesus comes back.  And I despise that.  We’re here and we’ve got to do whatever we can to keep the place running.  We think in terms of quarterly statements and we should be thinking a little bit further in advance of that.  At least the communists had ten year plans.  We don’t have that anymore.

A lot of times that kind of thought absolves people of responsibility.  I think a lot of times they go with it because it’s the most convenient thing and it makes the most sense for those quarterly reports. 

Yeah, I know.  It’s about how you are inside and there will always be those people and there will be all the others that worry about every single thing we do that might cause damage to the planet.  I’m somewhere leaning more towards the damage to the planet side, much more towards that.  This is the problem, it’s like if you happen to be a Presbyterian, which I was as a kid, there’s a thing called predestination that creates the same situation.  You’re going to heaven or hell no matter what you do in life, because you’ve been predestined, so your job is to lead an ethical, moral, and hardworking life while you’re here, but you’re going to go to hell anyway [laughs].  But it’s what you do while you’re here, and what you should be doing is living hopefully and trying to balance your needs and the needs of the world and the planet.  So that’s the problem with the idea that it’s all going to go to rat shit eventually so let’s make as much money as possible.  Those people will always be a fungus and if I was running the country I would take them out and shoot them frankly, but that’s something else [laughs].

The Zero Theorem” is released and distributed by CAPTIVE CINEMA.

SHOWING ON MARCH 18, 2015.

NATIONWIDE

“INSURGENT” – WORLD’S BOOK PHENOMENON TRANSLATES TO SCREENS ON MARCH 18

Based on the novel “Insurgent” by Veronica Roth, The Divergent Series: Insurgent picks up three days after the end of Divergent, when Tris and Four narrowly hindered Jeanine’s plot to use mind-controlled Dauntless troops to exterminate the population of Abnegation. But the victory comes at a terrible personal cost for Tris. Both her parents are killed in the battle, as is her fellow Dauntless initiate Will, whom she is forced to shoot when he attacks her under the influence of a brain-altering serum.

Golden Globe Award®-nominee Shailene Woodley reprises her role as Tris in “Insurgent” where she and Four (Theo James) find themselves on the run from Jeanine (Kate Winslet), the power-hungry leader of the Erudite faction. As the traitorous Dauntless troops under Jeanine’s command prowl the ruins of dystopian Chicago rounding up Divergents, Tris and Four traverse the city hoping to find allies among the Amity, Candor, Abnegation and Dauntless factions—as well as the rebellious and impoverished mass of Factionless.

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“The book release of Insurgent was when the Divergent series truly took off and became a publishing phenomenon. Veronica wrote a roller coaster of a book with incredible twists and turns that really captured the imagination of fans, who spread the word like wildfire,” says producer Pouya Shahbazian. “In Insurgent the city is in upheaval and new secrets are coming to light. While in the first movie, Jeanine pinpoints the Divergents as being a problem she wants to eliminate, in this movie, we learn very quickly that Jeanine is determined to capture them and use them to discover a powerful secret to which only they hold the key..”

According to Roth, writing Insurgent allowed her to flesh out Tris’ world in a way she wasn’t able to do in Divergent, partially because the first book was written in the first person. “It’s a little bit like growing up,” the author says. “When you’re a child, the world is very small, and when we get older, we realize how large the world really is. Insurgent is the world getting a little bit bigger and Tris is experiencing that in a very literal way … first it’s one faction, then it’s two factions, then it’s the entire city of Chicago.”

“The Divergent Series: Insurgent is a high-octane action-adventure packed with excitement and suspense,” says Erik Feig, Co-President of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group, who also played an instrumental role in the development and production of blockbuster book-based franchises “The Hunger Games” and “The Twilight Saga.” “It combines a riveting plot, an extraordinary cast and a lot of heart with intense stunt work and visual effects to deliver an extremely satisfying and unique movie-going experience.”

Although the filmmakers made every effort to stay true to the themes and characters of the books, Roth understood that some changes needed to be made to present the 544-page novel in a two-hour movie. “In the book, there’s more freedom to do a weird structure and explain things slowly. But on screen, it has to be fast and concise and clear. I’m always really open-minded to change as long as it creates a better and stronger story. One thing that was very important to me was to ensure that the dynamic between Tris and Four remained the same, and that she is still the primary mover of the plot. And in Insurgent, it is still Tris’ story.”

“Insurgent” opens in cinemas on March 18 from Pioneer Films.

SEAN PENN’S “THE GUNMAN” IS THIS GENERATION’S ACTION ICON

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Movie fans, critics and reviewers have unanimously gushed on Sean Penn’s latest 8-pack and chiselled bod in his latest testosterone-fueled action movie “The Gunman.”

Penn takes on his latest challenging role in “The Gunman” as Jim Terrier where he works as a humanitarian in an African village providing people with potable water.   In one ordinary day, Jim finds himself riding on a wave of panic among his peers and the rest of the village when three armed men storm through the village demanding to see him.  As he approaches, it becomes clear that the men are out to kill him.  Escaping the armed men, Jim finds out that someone has put a price on his head.   Jim then travels to London to connect with an old comrade and close friend, Stanley (Ray Winstone) who reluctantly agrees to help him discover who hired the hit.

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 Actor Ray Winstone, who plays Jim’s close friend, is much admired by Penn and the producers.  He brings a level of grittiness and reality to the movie and was Sean’s first choice to play the role of Stanley.  His role is a broken, grizzly, paranoid man living alone, pulled in by Jim to help him.  “The warrior bond and friendship between Jim and Stanley who have been part of a brotherhood is also a driving force in the movie,” says producer Andrew Rona.

Winstone himself sums up Sean Penn’s career simply, “He’s a clever boy.  I’ve never seen him in a bad film, and I can’t remember seeing him bad in any film, so that’s a good place to start from.  I’m lucky enough to have worked with some great actors over the years, but I’m still excited to work with Sean.  It keeps you on the ball,” Winstone says of Penn.

He further comments on Penn’s preparation for the role, “Sean is in fantastic shape.  Sean is only a few years younger than me, but where he has an eight-pack , I’ve got a party pack!,” Winston laughingly shares.

And of the film, Winstone shares that “I like a good thriller.  I don’t need to watch a comedy, I can make myself laugh.  I want something to make me think, a bit of action, and I want to see performances.  Here, we’ve got it all – script and performances.”

As for is role, Penn notes that “Jim is a guy who has a questionable past.  You don’t really know where he comes from.  You know that he’s a former military guy.   He’s had a special training and he’s operated in some very dark places.  In the film, he is trying to make a better life after that and he’s trying to redeem himself.  People are trying to kill him and he’s called into action.  He has to use the skills that he has trained in to survive and prove his innocence.”

“The Gunman” shoots into theatres this March 18 from OctoArts Films International.   

SECOND CHANCES IN LIFE, LOVE AND MUSIC IN “SONG ONE”

Making a movie about music creates its own backstage soundtrack, in parallel with the music the audience hears onscreen. To capture a vibrant music scene with genuine appreciation and authenticity, Writer/Director Kate Barker-Froyland and “Song One’s” tight-knit creative team immersed themselves in the modern urban folk and indie music that serves as the romantic drama’s backdrop.

The romantic movie “Song One” unspools when in a chance instant, a young musician’s life is abruptly interrupted.  Henry Ellis (Ben Rosenfield), absorbed in the music playing on his headphones, steps off a curb into th path of a taxi.  Henry’s older sister, Franny (Anne Hathaway) is living in Morocco and studying Nomadic culture, when she gets the call from their mother Karen (Mary Steenburgen) that Henry is in a coma.  All bags packed, Franny quickly headed to New York and joins her mother where Henry is hooked up to tubes and monitors.

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Before this crisis reunion, the Ellis family had been scattered: Franny pursuing her anthropology PhD in Morocco; Henry living the aspiring musician’s life, busking in the subway while trying to gain a toehold in the Brooklyn music scene; and Karen, long widowed, feeling solitary and anxious about her far-flung, uncommunicative offspring. Old family tensions soon bubble up between Franny and Karen, who is also an anthropologist, preoccupied with writing a book. Nevertheless, daughter and mother are united in their vigil over Henry.

Back in the family home, Franny pokes through Henry’s old room, trying to get a glimpse of how his life has evolved in her absence. Inside his guitar case, Franny finds a CD and pops it into the player. She’s shocked to Hear Henry’s voice addressing her directly, telling her that he’s proud of his new song.   That he hopes she’ll listen even though she’s never responded to his other efforts to reach out to her. Franny finds the song beautiful and accomplished—Henry has blossomed as a musician, more than she ever realized.  Inside the case is also Henry’s notebook, where all his thoughts, song ideas, sketches and random brainwaves were recorded day by day. It’s very private but reading it helps Franny understand her brother who may never sing or speak or play music again.

“Song One” looks tenderly upon family and romantic love, but tragedy and discord accompany love all along the way. As director Barker-Froyland explains, “In rewrites I was able to develop the character of Franny with Annie in mind. By the time Annie shifted from her pre-production role into acting the part, she knew every nuance of Franny.”

“It’s a mystery why Franny’s in pain, but you only see that onscreen  through the way she reacts or through her eyes. It became clear to me that Franny is someone who made a really big mistake in choosing to live her life in an isolated way, and we are watching her try to rectify that mistake. Kate and Mary and I worked a lot on developing a backstory for the family dynamic, even though it’s not explicitly spelled out.”  hat’s one of Kate’s strengths as director,” continues Hathaway.  “She has a lot of faith in human intelligence. It takes guts to carry off very vulnerable, heartfelt emotion, like the scene of Franny singing the America song—at the end, the look that passes between mother and daughter is so eloquent and full of history, wordlessly.”

Soon in cinemas, “Song One” opens March 25 from Pioneer Films.

CHECKING INDIA AGAIN – “THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL”

In 2012, the sleeper comedy hit “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” beckoned audiences on a journey with a group of seven British pensioners who “outsourced” their retirement, taking a risk on a newly opened Indian hotel claiming to cater to the “Elderly & Beautiful.”  Though the hotel turned out to have seen better days, the fearless and optimistic residents came to realize that no matter what their age, the best might be yet to come. “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” brings together the original cast, headed by Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and Dev Patel, with newcomers Richard Gere, Tamsin Greig and David Strathairn.

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Now that The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is full up with its long-term residents, co-managers Muriel Donnelly (Maggie Smith) and Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patel) have a dream of expansion, and they’ve found just the place: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. With plans underway, Evelyn and Douglas (Judi Dench and Bill Nighy) venture into the Jaipur workforce, wondering where their regular breakfast dates will lead.  Meanwhile, Norman and Carol (Ronald Pickup and Diana Hardcastle) navigate the swirling waters of an exclusive relationship, as Madge (Celia Imrie) juggles two very eligible suitors, and recent arrival Guy Chambers (Richard Gere) finds a muse in Sonny’s mother, Mrs. Kapoor (Lillete Dubey) for his next novel. As his marriage to Sunaina (Tina Desai), the love of his life, quickly approaches, Sonny finds his plans for the new hotel making more claims on his time than he has available. Perhaps the only one who may know the answers is Muriel, the keeper of everyone’s secrets. As the big day nears, family and guests alike find themselves swept up in the irresistible intoxication of an Indian wedding.

“The Marigold Hotel has always been a character in itself,” points out director John Madden. And like all the other characters in the story, the hotel reveals it has gone through changes big and small since its tumultuous grand opening.  Sonny has added three rooms on the roof and a freshly renovated courtyard gives his guests more opportunities for the life of serene leisure he promised in his brochure.

The film gave Madden and his crew the chance to showcase more of the surrounding hotspots, including Jaigarh Fort, a rugged hilltop installation built in the early 1700s by Jai Singh II. Childs created several sets there, highlighting the formal gardens and their staggering view of a wall that flows across the landscape reminiscent of the Great Wall of China.  Filming also took place at another travelers’ favorite:  the Cenotaphs of the Kings — a royal cremation site featuring dome-shaped pavilions and ornate carvings in the Rajasthan style – which is Douglas’ new place of employment.

Coming from India, Tina Desai who plays the Sonny’s (Patel) girlfriend in the movie says she was taken aback by how accurately both films have portrayed her home country.  “It captures a truly Indian sort of spirit, which surprised me because I think you have to live in India for a significant period of time to know how we think and feel.  As it says in the last line from the first film: Everything will be all right in the end; and if it’s not all right, it’s not yet the end. That gives you a feeling of hope – and that’s exactly what Indian films are about.”

“The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” will be shown exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas starting March 18.