The Grand Budapest Hotel is the most elaborate – so far – of Anderson’s work. It has multiple narratives, several colorful set pieces, and an ensemble cast.
Anderson spins one scenario into an elaborate story with kinetic and intricate moving parts. A hotel owner and lobby boy are thrown into the middle of a whodunit story that involves a battle for a Renaissance painting against the backdrop of a war. There’s murder and mayhem, as well as friendship and romance.
Anderson deftly connects all these into an exciting plot with a fitting score. The different aspect ratios enhance his compositions. There’s never a dull moment in the film – screwball comedy and dark humor fill the story with perfect timing.
The cast is an ensemble of familiar faces that have been featured in previous Anderson films, and some newcomers who’ll appear in future projects. Everyone pitches in with great performances despite limited screen time. Ralph Fiennes, as expected, is amazing as M. Gustave – charming and upbeat yet crassly opportunistic. Toni Revolori is able to infuse personality into a character that would have easily turned into a forgettable wind-up toy as an assistant.
While the characters here don’t have much depth, it still has something to say underneath colorful dioramas and visuals.
It takes a look at greed and fascism that brews underneath the facade of aristocracy and old-world glamor. Like its owner M. Gustave, The Grand Budapest Hotel clings to a world of quaint elegance, pomp, and pompadour. Inevitably, time and change catch up, and what was once legendary is now a crumbling reminder of the past.
The movie ends on a somber note and you’ll feel like you’ve also gone on an adventure that’s too epic to believe, but too great not to happen.
The Grand Budapest Hotel explores war, fascism, tragedy, loyalty, friendship, and nostalgia through an original and well-crafted buddy film.
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Grand Budapest Hotel is an elaborate and charming buddy film that is surprisingly melancholic underneath its colorful facade.