Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Wes Anderson is the Marmite of the film industry, you either love him or hate him. I have loved some of his films like Rushmore and The Life Aquatic of Steve Zissou but I was never a big fan of others such as The Royal Tenenbaums. I love the fact that Wes Anderson sticks to his guns and all his films feel wholly original but with his own unique style kept throughout. And once again Anderson has not given up what seems to work for him with his latest film The Grand Budapest Hotel which I can safely say is one of my favourite of his films.

The film follows the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his more trusted friend. The film is a whole lot of fun and after its setting up of the story and its characters in the first act it turns into a hilariously brilliant adventure/heist/mystery film that runs at full speed without ever slowing down.

Ralph Fiennes plays Gustave H the flamboyant concierge. The casting of Fiennes is perfect and he really holds the film together, I can't imagine anyone else playing the character as brilliantly as he did, he is hilariously funny and over the top but with side to him that makes you care for him as much as his lobby boy does, also played brilliantly by Tony Revolori for the majority of the film. The pair together are a great comedy duo and really make this film something special whilst bringing a new take on the bromance that many films are trying to achieve these days. Supporting the pair are a bunch of the usual Anderson regulars as well a few new fresh faces.

The quirky and eccentric style of Anderson still remains without ever seeming to be toned down, however this may be more accessible for any newcomers to his work as the film is a lot more fun that some of his previous films and takes a lot of generic conventions of hollywood films whilst putting his own odd auteur twist on them, that being said it still is very odd, but in a good way.

The film looks great and with a lot of it being shot in real locations, with some of them looking too good to be true! I wanted to visit many of the locations shot at as they just looked like something you would find on a post card. Andersons use of practical effects still remain and really bring that arty creative feel to the film as well as his new unique take on the setting of time as the three time periods in the film are filmed in three different aspect ratios.

Although well structured for the most part, the film can be a little confusing to start off with, especially with its story within a story within a story concept. And although largely funny there are a few jokes that fall a bit flat. These few flaws do nothing to diminish the amount of fun and enjoyment you are going to get out of this film that really is a great piece of entertaining art and escapism. Anderson yet again brings a film full of charm and originality to the cinema that is a great alternative to your usual popcorn  flick. I am giving The Grand Budapest Hotel a rating of 4/5. I highly recommend trying to catch this film before it leaves the big screen.

Did you like The Grand Budapest Hotel? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. Good review Alex. It's probably Anderson's most ambitious to date, which also makes it one of his more exciting flicks as well. Not perfect, but still worth the watch for a whole bunch of fun.


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