Marigold poster


wogma rating: Switch channels if it's on cable (?)

quick review:

This is Hollywood's marriage with Bollywood, it seems. One thing is for sure, this director/writer shouldn't have been the priest!! Salman and Ali think smiling is the only form of acting. And this supposed musical has awful music.

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Director: Willard Carroll
Running time: 110 minutes
More Movie Info

Did you know Marigold is the name of a flower? You did? Oh well, tough luck then - this movie is not for you, because that is about the most interesting thing you come out with. Yeah, it’s that drab.

If we were to plot a graph of the level of interest in the movie against the 100 odd minutes' run-time, the first hour or so would be pretty flat and close to the axis. By that time, when Prem's ever-smiley character shows an uncharacteristically different shade - you pretty much don't care which direction the graph is headed. Its exasperating when four stories try to unfold out of nowhere in the last 40 minutes. I was just relieved to leave the theater after the vertical drop in the last 10 minutes to run to the nearest available paracetamol.

They should have done something to pep the script up, considering the acting was pretty much going to be flat or over the top. Oh right! Music was the supposed solution to this problem - a break in the monotony. In the director's own words, "Music, of course, was the key part of the story of MARIGOLD". Excuse me, director sahib – what story? Unfortunately, the music did not serve its purpose. Music from Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's other movies was used a lot as being played in pubs and rickshaws. These older numbers were much more entertaining than the originals for this one. One thing I was looking forward to, after watching the promotional trailers, was the visuals of the songs. Yep, flat there too!!

One thing that was not dull though, was the animation used for transitions (they had an editor, you see). They were bright, colorful and well, extremely out-of-place and kitschy.

There is some attempt at labeling Marigold as Hollywood's spoof on marriage with Bollywood, or something like that. Guys, let's fix first things first - let's try and make cinema first and then maybe we can talk about where it is from, and who can take digs on whom. Or were they, in the name of being Bollywood-like, just trying to give excuses for the innumerable problems in their own script?

By the way, readers, I tried not to sound clichéd and stereotypical by avoiding the following words - cliché, stereotypical, repetitive, yikes, eeeewww, Oh Gawd ... you get the general idea, right?

- meeta, a part of the audience

16 reviewers(?) - 0 yays 1 so-so 15 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

So-So, by Martin D'souza, : ...Just two scenes into the movie and you know that Ali Larter is a natural... full review

Thumbs down, by Nikhil Kumar, Apun Ka Choice : ...Salman’s performance has superficiality written all over it.... full review

Thumbs down, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ... is a godawful mess... full review

Thumbs down, by Fatema H Kagalwala, Business of Cinema : ...what makes it worse is the screenplay, which is anorexic... full review

Thumbs down, by Manasi Paresh Kumar, Deccan Herald : ...This marigold wilts... full review

Thumbs down, by Aprajita Anil, Express India : ...Hollywood too is capable of talking absurdity, absurdity without pause.... full review

Thumbs down, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...Marigold is one of those embarrassing films that deserve to have stayed in the cans forever... full review

Thumbs down, by Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM : ...An apology of a story, a powerless screenplay, shoddy visual effects, poor music and nightmarish direction... full review

Thumbs down, by Praveen Lance Fernandes, indiatimes : ... Happiness held is the seed and happiness shared is the flower- how we wish the director held onto this seed... full review

Thumbs down, by Vaibhav Wankhede, M TV : ...Go watch CHAK DE, again!... full review

Thumbs down, by Amit R Agarwal, merinews : ...The films’ technical aspects are nothing to marvel on... full review

Thumbs down, Movie Talkies : ...She (Ali Larter) may not be much of an actor, but she has an endearing kind of confidence.... full review

Thumbs down, by Anupama Chopra, NDTV : ...The characters are shallow, the dialogue is infantile and the music is unforgivably limp.... full review

Thumbs down, by Hanumant Bhansali, Radio Sargam : ...The art direction is weak and outdated.... full review

Thumbs down, by D Morgan, Rediff : ...a story and screenplay that is as difficult to nail down as a blob of mercury.... full review

Thumbs down, by Satyajit, : works on an outdated script and worst of all it has slow-paced narration that decimates the interest of viewers.... full review

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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Warning: this section has some details that could distort your experience while watching the movie. I strongly recommend reading this only after you have seen the movie or if you have decided not to see it.

Plot Summary

Marigold (Ali Larter) is a Hollywood actor, with a whole lot of attitude that she could do without, who has come to India for a movie shoot. The movie is cancelled and she somehow finds herself as a dancer in a Hindi movie. She meets Prem (Salman Khan) and you are supposed to sit through the rest to know what happens next, if anything at all.

What Worked

  • A few subtle, funny one-liners.

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

  • A huge jump cut which broke the axis of action - In the airplane, Marigold is shown as walking from the business class to economy/coach class (towards the camera). In the next shot, she is shown as approaching her seat from behind, i.e. again approaching the camera without any movement of camera.
  • Do any of the characters know what it is they exactly want from life? Prem, his father, Marigold, Barry?
  • Only Salman Khan could try to get away with saying, "That's awful", with a monotonous smile on his face!
  • Ali Larter's cynical-lop-sided smile, that she wears half the time she is on screen - is it there for a reason, or someone somewhere thought she looks good when she does that?
  • Why exactly was Gulshan Grover trying to do an "Eklavya"
  • If they wanted to give the father-son conflict just 2 minutes to resolve, why did they put it in there in the first place?
  • How does Barry know who Prem's father is?


This section lists things that I think are not important to the overall impact of the movie. In most cases, it could be explained away by something like, "we noticed the glitch after the scene was shot and there were schedule/budget issues and thus we could not re-shoot it". I like giving the makers the benefit of doubt, but I am amused nevertheless. Hopefully, they will tickle you too.

  • How I wish Taxis stood in such neat lines at Mumbai airport.
  • Why is Prem who is a teetotaler insisting that Marigold needs a drink?!
  • Wasn't Jaanvi (Nandana Sen) supposed to leave for Mumbai? Whatever happened to that?
  • Is the taxi driver a psychic? How does he know anything about Marigold's love life?
  • Why does Prem ask Gulshan Grover where his father is, when the father is standing right there?!
  • If Ali cannot enact a whistle, was it necessary for her to whistle? And if it was necessary, couldn't anyone teach her how to act it out?

Marigold - Cast, crew, links

Official Sites:
Supporting Cast:
Running time:
110 minutes

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Review - Marigold...

This is Hollywood's marriage with Bollywood, it seems. One thing is for sure, this director/writer shouldn't have been the priest!! Salman and Ali think smiling is the only form of acting. And this supposed musical has awful music. ...

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