Some people seem to get old a helluva lot quicker than other people, and it appears that this 'getting old early' thing happens to people that stop living life to the fullest. It's almost like they have given up on life. It's not that they don't want to be alive, they're happy to do that, they just aren't really living, they are existing. Existing is what makes people old. Saying things like, 'I'm too old for that' and 'I just can't relate to this generation' makes a person seem really old I think. Not wanting to try new things or discover something for the first time, that makes a person old.
I actually think that you never really 'feel' old, not in your head anyway, not unless you choose to feel old that is. Your body might defy you and your faculties may slow down a bit, but it is your lust for life that makes you truly alive and vibrant. I know some 70 year old people that have more vigor and drive than some twelve year old kids, and it all comes down to attitude.
The other day I was engaged by an older guy at the shops, I would have guessed his age to be around 70, but he could've been even older. Now this dude had swagger, he was sprightly, cheeky and vivacious. He was wearing the coolest pair of pants and shoes that I have ever seen on an older man, and he was clearly not suffering from any kind of generation gap whatsoever. He was straight up flirting with me and I have to admit, he had it going on. And I found that I wasn't looking at his wrinkles or his silver hair, I was looking at the twinkle in his eyes and the spring in his step because he was alive, truly alive and loving it. Loving it so much that he was hitting on a woman that could've been his daughter, or grand daughter for that matter (but I flatter myself here). The point is, that I don't think that that man felt old, not at all. He was going for it, he was enjoying his life, taking risks and having fun, and it made me smile. In fact it made my day, because no-one has hit on me in quite a while.
His gusto certainly got me thinking about life and getting old. I think that as long as you're always young at heart, then you will always be young. It doesn't matter how flabby, saggy and wrinkly you are, it's what you're doing with your time that makes you young, it all about your approach and your willingness. I hope that I never really feel old and tired of life, and if I ever do it better not be until I am in my nineties, because I wanna have the guts to hit on some forty year old when I'm in my seventies, and I want to make them think about how good it is to be alive and to be brave and bold. That's the stuff that keeps you young forever.
BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL
Release Date: 2011
Running Time: 124 mins
It is fair to say that the idea of a bunch of oldies getting together to traipse around India together didn't really excite me either when I heard about it, but after watching the movie, I had to admit that I really enjoyed it. Directed by John Madden and based on the screenplay These Foolish Things by Ol Parker, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel seeks to explore the 'lives' of the elderly beyond the 'expectations' of the elderly, and forces them well out of their comfort zones into poverty stricken India.
Seven elderly citizens decide to pick up their lives, for various reasons, and retire in India. After viewing the glorious photographs posted on their online website, the retirees are horrified to find that The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is far more run down than they had anticipated. Combine that disappointment with the heat, the cultural changes and the generally unusual living conditions and people start to come undone.
What they saved on filming in India, they spent on actors, because the ensemble cast is just incredible. Judi Dench, Celia Imrie, Bill Nighy, Ronald Pickup, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson and Penelope Wilton all leave their mark here, as does Dev Patel - better known for Slumdog Millionaire. I really enjoyed this film, it's funny and touching and hits all the right notes, and made me re-think a trip to India.
FINAL SAY: First rule of India: there's always room.
3.5 Chili Peppers
NOTE: The second installment of 'Marigold', although similar in many ways, is not nearly as good as the first one and only generated a 2.5 Chili Pepper rating from me.