Evelyn (Judi Dench- As Time Goes By), focus, narrates Day 1 to 51 for her blog, new widow whose husband left debts. Doug (Bill Nighy) optimist who lost all investments of wife Jean (Penelope Wilton). Muriel Donnelly (Maggie Smith -Downton Abbey) needs out-sourced hip operation, bitter racist because employers, family she devoted her life to, tossed her aside after she trained young replacement. Graham (Tom Wilkinson) judge lived in India for first 18 years, returns to find male lover. Norman (Ronald Pickup), lonely, hopefully reads Kama Sutra. Madge (Celia Imrie), outgoing, looks for yet another (rich) husband, introduces Norman to local resident Englishwoman.
The mantra of young hotel manager Sonny (Dev Patel - Slumdog Millionaire) is "Everything will be alright in the end. If it is not alright it is not yet the end." Sonny will refund everything right away in three months. His modern girl-friend Sunaina (sultry Tena Desae) works in the call center run by her elder brother Jay (Sid Makkar), who hires Ev to teach British culture.
Color, noise, confusion, castles, mountains. I'm glad that bad smells are left to imagination. One-liners, quips may be from book, also called These Foolish Things by Deborah Moggach.
Ev: Nothing here has worked out quite as I expected. Muriel: Most things don't. Ev: Sometimes what happens instead is the good stuff.
Jean: When I want your opinion, I'll give it to you.
Ev, regarding overcoming stage fright by imagining audience naked: I think I'm a bit past all that..." Doug, after not fixing phone: Do you have anything else I can NOT fix? Muriel, about waiting six months for hip operation: At my age, I don't plan anything that far ahead. I don't even buy green bananas!
Ev, after narrating throughout, sums up the final day 51: The only real failure is the failure to try. The measure of success is how we cope with disappointment, as we always must. We get up in the morning, we do our best. All we know about the future is that it will be different.
EXTRAS1 Behind the Story - few lines from each actor over scenes of India 2 Casting legends - at peak of skills & experience 3 Previews: ads blu-ray, Margaret, The Descendants (George Clooney)