Monday, May 19, 2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014) Review

I haven't had as much exposure to the works of Wes Anderson as I would like but, from what I've seen (only one all the way through I've seen of his is Fantastic Mr. Fox), he has a very distinct style of both writing and cinematography but I would like to see more of his work. I decided to do something about it by going to see The Grand Budapest Hotel which was a film that I would've seen earlier but it was sold out. Managed to catch the last showing. Yes!

At the Grand Budapest Hotel, Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes) is the manager of the famed hotel who finds himself accused of murder after a friend of his dies and her son, Dmitri (Adrian Brody), accuses Gustave. Gustave and his lobby boy, Zero (Tony Revolori), accidentally stumble upon a great conspiracy and Dmitri sends out a hit man, Jopling (Willem Dafoe) to silence Gustave and Zero before they follow a trail of people and finding out what really happened. 

This is a very peculiar movie. VERY peculiar. Starting with the story as it's surprisingly complex. The film takes a "Russian doll" approch to the story by having it set in the 1980s...then the 1960s...and then finally in the 1930s where the bulk of the film with Ralph Fiennes takes place. Normally, this would be too overly complicated but Wes Anderson does a very good job of making this work through the use of aspect ratio. Each time setting is shot in a different aspect ratio to make to instantly realise when the scene is taking place. Wes Anderson has an amazing talent of gathering an amazing cast and it's no different here. Ralph Fiennes, Adrian Brody, Bill Murray, Jude Law, Willem Dafoe, Edward Norton, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, the list goes on. All of them do a wonderful job to especially Ralph Fiennes whose character, Gustave H., is a memorable and hilariously written character. The way that he flawlessly switches from stern to panicky offer some of the film's comedic highlights.

This leads me onto my next big compliment is that it is hilarious. Ralph Fiennes may have done comedy before but I'm not aware however, he nails the comedic timing and delivery perfectly. It's also hard to believe that this is Tony Revolori's first film considering how good he is. We works off everyone so well and creates strong chemistry with Ralph Fiennes and make for one of my favourtie film duos in a long time. The plot is set up kind of like Burn After Reading, not necessarily in terms of structure but by the fact that the audience is as lost as the characters are...but at least it doesn't give up at the end (in all honestly, the ending of Burn After Reading fits the film perfectly so I can't complain)

The Grand Budapest is certainly the most unique film so far this year. I can't quite see there being any other film like it as we press on throughout the year. Wes Anderson clearly had a lot of creative control in producing this film and also manages to gather a tremendous cast who all do a wonderful job, especially Ralph Fiennes. It may be out of the cinema now but It's worth a watch when it comes to DVD which shouldn't actually be that far off now.

Hilarious, unique, well cast and performed, interestingly shot and an all round fun film.

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