HONG KONG -- Hollywood has shaped the view of at least two generations of non-Westerners by showing them a distorted view of history and claiming that Western values and culture are superior to non-Western ones. This is the industry that portrays every Vietnamese fighter as a Communist and, of course, every American soldier as a hero. Two generations of people around the world have been disconnected from their own cultures -- or, at the very least, their own local filmmaking cultures -- through the marketing power of Hollywood and its built-in American exceptionalism.
The return viewer to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel might wonder if the unexpected and considerable box office gold of the original film can be struck again and, indeed, if the aging British boomers in the film can also find a second coming in their golden years. And therein lies the heart of both movies, namely taking a lucid and kindly look at aging.