Film Review – “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Fans of “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “The Life Aquatic” are sure to be enthralled by the light, bright fiasco that is “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”

A Wes Anderson classic, the film is a richly woven quilt of quirk, well-timed humour, history and charm that is simultaneously believable and bizarre.

Following the life of Zero, an immigrant lobby boy who has inherited the hotel through politics and conflict, and “Boy With Apple,” a stolen artwork bequeathed upon extraordinary concierge and mentor to Zero, Mr. Gustave, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is a higgledy-piggledy walk through war, prison, mystery and opulence.

Set in three time periods incorporating the present, the 60’s and 1932, the story is narrated in interlinking parts.

In the first and present a young girl visits a monument dedicated simply to “The Author” and begins reading a chapter of his visit to the hotel in the 60’s.

The second tells of a dinner interview between Zero and Young Author (Jude Law) during his visit to the run down remains of The Grand Budapest Hotel in which Zero speaks of how he acquired its ownership.

The third is an inheritance deal between lobby boy Zero (Toni Revololi) and eccentric concierge Mr. Gustav (Ralph Fiennes) who inherits and subsequently steals “Boy With Apple” when the wealthy Madame D (Tilda Swinton) dies suddenly in mysterious circumstances.

Wes Anderson seamlessly uses multiple aspect ratios to illustrate the passage of time. The present is widescreen and the 60’s somewhat drab, whilst the 30’s are filmed as a bright, compact square indicative of the heyday of the hotel and it’s characters.

From the candy pop colours to the seemingly endless A-list cast one is left with a sense of magic, and sadness.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” stays with you. It is a poignant masterpiece, haunting and bold.

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