Quirky, slightly retro comedy from Wes Anderson
The Grand Budapest Hotel is directed and co-written by Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom (2012)). The film focuses upon the adventures of a former concierge of the hotel, Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes), as told by its current owner Mr Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham). It is probably best described as a comedic adventure as we learn about Gustave’s skill in developing long-term relationships with the hotel’s most wealthy patrons. One of these relationships leads to him being granted a painting in a will that is contested by the son, Dmitri, as played by Adrien Brody. This then leads to a series of adventures involving Gustave and the lobby boy known as Zero (Tony Revolori).
A large portion of this film is shown in 4:3 format although it varies depending on the time period you as the viewer are watching. It has plenty of energy and fast dialogue as it bounds along to tell its tale in a little over 90 minutes. That being said I thought it took some time to get into the meat of the story and was a little bit look how quirky I am in the beginning. Once we get to the reading of the will we’re well and truly off and running and it’s a non-stop battle of wits between the protagonists until the end. The humour reminded me of a classic British theatre production like The 39 Steps and bordered on farce although I don’t want to suggest for a second there is the dropping of trousers or anything like that. It’s focused on the eccentric Gustave who appears to have a genuine love for the hotel guests although I thought the character could be self-serving at times. Fiennes appears to have a lot of fun in the role and stands out against a myriad of famous faces who are far too numerous to mention in this short blog. Besides its more fun to see how many you can recognise.
In summary it’s not a film with a weighty message but it is entertaining with a distinct sense the actors taking place had a lot of fun which adds energy to The Grand Budapest Hotel. Think modern quick witted dialogue married with a hint of old school British comedy. My rating 3/5.