It is very rare in a star studded film that the more famous of the cast work well as side characters, Wes Anderson has a knack of turning popular faces in to lesser characters successfully. The Grand Budapest hotel is probably the best film Anderson has ever made for exactly this reason. Although the main character was a well known face the supporting actor was not – and all the other well known faces had very little screen time in the film.
Personally I am a huge fan of the style Wes Anderson brings to his films, I find it very aesthetically pleasing and interesting to look at, his writing is also something I look up to because it is so ingenious and fast paced.
The Grand Budapest Hotel tells the story of Gustave H, somewhat of a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, a lobby boy who end up as his most trusted friend. They start off with a stolen painting and end off with a hotel. Gustave and Zero, having become quick friends, attend the funeral of the original owner of the hotel, Madame D., and, having been given it in her will, steal a painting that Madame D.’s son didn’t want them to have. The rest of the film shows them being hunted by the police for the supposed murder of Madame D. and how they came to actually own the Grand Budapest Hotel (Not at the same time mind you).
If you like alternative comedies, then this is the film for you. It is not in your face funny – as always the case with me the humour was more subtle and refreshing which is something I have always liked about Wes Anderson who even managed to capture this sense of humour in Fantastic Mr Fox (goodness knows how – although with the help with Roald Dahl.) The best comedic line in the whole film was uttered by Adrien Brody’s character, Dmitri, the line went like this: (The underlined one is what I am talking about)
“Dmitri: If I learn you ever once laid a finger on my mother’s body, living or dead, I swear to God, I’ll cut your throat! You hear me?
M. Gustave : I thought I was supposed to be a fucking faggot.
Dimitri: You are, but you’re bisexual.”
Now the line itself is good, but the delivery of the line was even better – we all know Adrien Brody is a great actor but it really felt like he was born to play the role of Dmitri, he did such a great job. In fact, the whole cast was perfect, and everyone suited the role they had been given to the point that the wacky characters were almost 100% believable. Arguably the best role that Ralph Fiennes have ever taken in all of his life, even better than Voldemort!
Art direction, as always with Anderson, was stunningly impeccable and full of colour and charm. There wasn’t one scene that didn’t have interesting colour or setting choices. The same goes for the shots used, as a film maker I know it is important to make good use of different shots to keep the film moving, but somehow Anderson can keep a film rolling along using mainly wide shots which is an incredible talent. The score to the film fits the mood perfectly and was very well composed.
This film is incredible and if you have a chance you should definitely give it a watch – it is definitely my favourite Wes Anderson film to date.
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