The Grand Budapest Hotel: Film Review – An epic ride of fantasy, comedy, satire and beauty by Wes Anderson

From Hollywood comes another instant classic. The Grand Budapest Hotel is an epic ride of fantasy, comedy, satire and beauty. Wes Anderson, of The Royal Tennebaums and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, has delivered a movie which can be enjoyed by each and everyone. With an amazing cast, we are treated to an original story where you can leave the world behind. The cast of this film do justice to the characters portrayed. To list them all here will be a veritable whos-who of comedy. This film takes you on a roller-coaster adventure from the moment the opening credits begin. This is the story of The Grand Budapest Hotel. Step in to the lobby and step out of the theatre with a huge smile on your face.

The Grand Budapest Hotel recounts the story and life of the greatest concierge that ever lived, Gustave H., played by Ralph Fiennes. The movie opens with the customary Wes Anderson flair. We are thrown into the deep end from the get go. The world of The Grand Budapest Hotel is one of a by-gone era. Of ladies and gentlemen, of tuxedos and gowns, of class and class distinction and of people and their struggles. The movie explores this world and shows us how things used to be. Gustave H takes on a young charge by the name of Zero Mustafa, played by Tony Revolori. In the midst of the madness that goes into running a hotel, there is murder, intrigue, a priceless painting, fortunes and the quest for discretion. Throw in a war and crazed, homicidal characters and we have The Grand Budapest Hotel. The movie has an enviable star cast. Wes Anderson also brings back a lot of his old guard. We have Jeff GoldBlum, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman and Willem Dafoe just to name a few. Each character that we see is so wonderfully portrayed. A bit about the story, Gustave H runs the best hotel in the whole wide world. As a concierge, he is perfect and seeks perfection in all that he oversees. He is a lover, an erudite poet, a learned scholar, a classic perfection and much more. The best part of his work is the passion that he exudes. This passion drives him and the hotel. Enter Zero, a lowly lobby boy. In Zero, Gustave finds a jewel in the rough and begins his instruction. We get to see this marvellous teacher-student relationship. Under Gustave’s tutelage, Zero learns the art of the Crossed Keys and also finds true love, in the guise of Agatha the pastry girl, played by Saoirse Ronan. Gustave and Zero face hurdles and close shaves as they struggle to survive war and treacherous guests, whilst maintaining the highest standards of service. What could possibly go wrong? You will have to see for yourself.
 
The Grand Budapest Hotel is an entertaining and charming film. Wes Anderson reminds us that the world is full of pain and suffering but we can smile and laugh, there is hope for us all. Ralph Fiennes is amazing as Gustave H. With ascerbic wit and a charm that hasn’t been seen on screen in a long time, he engages us in a very human way. Tony Revolori is quite a find. His work as Zero endears him and reminds us about the innocence of youth. Adrien Brody is a treat to watch as the conniving and treacherous Dmitri. Willem Dafoe brings his devilish grin and evil eyes as Dmitri’s henchman Jopling. You will be surprised at the multitude of cameos in this film. And these aren’t the kinds where it is ‘blink and miss’. You will enjoy each of them. There will be moments where you will gasp, laugh out loud, groan, smile, guffaw, hiss, boo and cheer. The sheer opulence and beauty of the sets will leave you spellbound. Wes Anderson has indeed created a masterpiece of quirky and intelligent humor.
 
Why you should watch this film? 
Firstly, it is gorgeous. The shots and the sets are a delight with subtle touches and sweet nuances. The soundtrack is engaging and brings out the whole pace of the film. With the quick editing and cut shots, the movie stays true to Wes Anderson‘s storytelling genius. Ralph Fiennes is the person to watch. As Gustave H., he is amazing. You will be pulled in and captivated by this human character. In Zero, we are shown the gamut of human emotion. From hope to loss, from love to death, from life to desire. Tony Revolori has the making of a brilliant character actor. The movie is fast and there isn’t a single moment where you will be left wondering. It is a ride into the world of fantasy that Wes Anderson knows so well.
 
This is a movie for everyone. You shouldn’t miss this. As the ending credits roll, you will sit in the theatre and wonder ‘where did the time go?’ And you will want to watch this movie all over again. The experience of The Grand Budapest Hotel is sheer brilliance combined with humor and passion.

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