Wes Anderson is back, with a mad, thoroughly entertaining and whimsical caper, set in early 20th century in the fictional republic of Zubrowka, a country in turmoil, the film follows the life and exploits of Gustave H played by Ralph Fiennes, senior concierge of the Grand Budapest Hotel.
The film is a re-counting of the adventures of Zero Moustafa, in his adolescence initially a lobby boy, he came to the Grand Budapest in hopes of working for the brand of the hotel, even calling it an institution, we can see he clearly has enthusiasm to be a lobby boy. From there on we see the film from his perspective as he grows to become a trusted friend and assistant to Gustave as they go on an unexpected adventure of sorts, I did really enjoy the film throughout and first of all I want to talk about the casting. The casting for the film is fantastic as usual with Wes Anderson films. The actors playing their characters seem like perfect fits, Ralph Fiennes as a man of lavish but peculiar taste, Jeff Goldblum as the do things by the book deputy Kovacs, Adrien brody as the foul mouthed, constantly angry Dmitri, Willem Dafoe as the hired muscle and all around evil henchman.
The casting helps to serve the plot, providing for some very entertaining scenes, which are all very well shot as well, the lingering close ups of characters faces, wide angle shots with characters barely in the shot and of course the ongoing narration of it all, all distinct Wes Anderson-isms. And speaking of distinct, the style and cinematography of The Grand Budapest Hotel is fantastic, you know you’re watching a Wes Anderson film straight away with great, well framed shots as well as vibrant, vivid colours which contrast with the frozen tundra and generally bland country of Zubrowka.
When it comes down to writing as well, the film shines with a fantastic and vibrant script, characters are lively and an element of realism is ever present, despite the surreal situations the quirky characters get themselves into, you can believe a man like Gustave H could probably exist, albeit with exaggerated qualities. And story wise the film flies by as you get really drawn into an elaborate and entertaining story with a few twists and turns along the way, there isn’t really a sad or happy ending to it all but it’s a nice story nonetheless and it’s very funny as well. Little jokes here and there coupled with Andersons’ over the top characters and the way they react to each other make for some great scenes, the way the characters are serves to drive the plot and fits in with overall tone and style of the film, the film being a comedy drama which made me think of a well scripted, fast moving comedies from the 50s’ or 60s’.
Overall The Grand Budapest Hotel is great fun, a great, engaging story that’s very entertaining with a host of quirky and fun characters, Wes Andersons’ style of film shines through and makes for some great visuals, while the great writing makes the film as a whole very enjoyable. While it straddles genres, it can be enjoyed as a comedy or a drama and has a broad appeal in my opinion for moviegoers, great film.
. Very well cast film, actors give great performances
. Has some great shots, great use of colour for contrast and to highlight certain things in a scene
. Entertaining film from start to finish