“There are still faint glimmers of civilization left in this barbaric slaughterhouse that was once known as humanity...” said Gustave to Zero, and Zero to the writer.
The Grand Budapest Hotel is the picturesque and complicated establishment that becomes magnetic navel of Wes Anderson’s eighth featured film that, once more, proves his savvy. Ever since Rushmore to Moonrise Kingdom, Anderson’s films always befriend fancy ‘literature’, contemplative humour, and most of all, premier narrative—whimsical and quirky. Needles to say, The Grand Budapest Hotel embraces those features and beyond to structure a more historical, literature, and European queer tale.
The story is told in Matryoshka structure (stories within another story) as it takes place in a fictitious country Zubrowka. A young girl visits the grave of a writer. The writer (Tom Wilkinson) displays a video memoir which takes us to 1968, when his younger self (now portrayed by Jude Law) visited The Grand Budapest Hotel and met its owner, Zero Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham). Over a dinner, Mr. Zero takes the writer into a flashback dating back in 1932 to know the secrets of The Grand Budapest.It then crafts a story about a strange bond that binds young Zero (Tom Revolori) to Monsieur Gustave (Ralph Fiennes, at his finest performance), his mentor and the flamboyant concierge of the hotel. Gustave’s fondness of an elderly guest, Madame D. (Tilda Swinton) has led him and his protege to an absurd adventure. Oddball of fate leads them as they swarm across series of murders, heist, prison break, whodunits, and mostly humours to establish the wonderful world of The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Although characters are introduced everywhere in the film and cameos of Anderson’s collaborators are expanding the screen, The Grand Budapest Hotel is, at the very core, the friendship between Zero and Gustave. There’s nothing more fun than observing how Zero serves Gustave with trivial things to a ‘prison break’ thing with pleasure and dignity. Yet, the most fun (and touching) parts always come every time Gustave replies to Zero’s virtue—sometimes, it is as tricky as sharing the perfume and as gracious as sharing his credo. Both Gustave and Zero share the concept of rectoverso to each other. Even, Zero’s love to pastry maker Agatha (Saoirse Ronan) makes something Gustave cannot resist. Other characters are not developed in their entirety; some comes and goes like hotel guests (most notably Bill Murray and Owen Wilson). Yet, they’re equally adorable with their silly, comical, and amusing in every appearance.That beautiful bond represents the world of The Grand Budapest Hotel Anderson and crews build—complete, alive, colourful and fancy—just like in Anderson’s previous films. Scenes of this films have multiple kinds of frames varied from width to tone; I guess it works to compensate the multi-angle storyline or to distinct the narrators’ point of view. Some scenes are framed in a smaller frames, but, there’s nothing different in treatment to what is framed in a bigger size. Anderson accommodates every move and dialogue that craves the film with beauty.
Nobody demands it to be realistic; and seems like, Wes Anderson gives no chance for realism. For the whole time, he has invites us to have all fun in his frames, his confection coloured design, his fancy costume party, and his history. Once you check in, you only want to stay and explore and nothing more.
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Comedy Directed by: Wes Anderson Written by: Wes Anderson based on novel by Stefan Zweig Production Co.: Scott Rudin Productions, Indian Paintbrush, Studio Babelsberg Starred by: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Tom Revolori, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Saoirse Ronan, Edward Norton, Tom Wilkinson, Jude Law, Lea Seydoux, Tilda Swinton