Film Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Wes Anderson’s latest is immensely entertaining. With amusing characters and a riveting plot, The Grand Budapest Hotel is one of Anderson’s strongest films to date.

New lobby boy Zero trains under the esteemed M. Gustave H., concierge at The Grand Budapest Hotel. Zero learns about the ways of the hotel, including Gustave’s relationships with the wealthiest of guests…

With an off-beat but memorable historical setting, The Grand Budapest Hotel offers an interesting plot unfolding over a well-paced narrative. The film combines adventure, mystery, comedy and a crime thriller all filtered through Wes Anderson’s inimitable gaze.

The chain of events that unfold are unpredictable, which heightens the appeal of the film. It is unclear exactly where the narrative will go for a good portion of the duration. Wes Anderson brings a lightness to proceedings; The Grand Budapest Hotel could have had a completely different tone with another director at the helm. There are some violent depictions in the film, but these are dealt with in a comedic fashion. The dark humour in these scenes is most successful.

The Grand Budapest Hotel features some familiar Anderson thematic and visual traits. The sledging sequence is both rudimentary and wonderful in its quaintness. Costumes and set design is terrific. The film’s protagonists are portrayed in an amusing fashion which does not negate from developing their friendship in a sincere manner.

The film features an enviable cast. Ralph Fiennes and Tony Revolori have great chemistry and master and apprentice Gustave and Zero. Fiennes in particular displays his adeptness at comedy in this role, and generates many of the laughs. Other cast members are good in smaller roles, including Willem Dafoe and Tilda Swinton.

With The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson fans will be sated. Moreover, those with less of an affiliation with the writer-director should also find the film a most enjoyable tale, told with colour and a sense of buoyancy. The Grand Budapest Hotel is marvellous fun.