The Grand Budapest Hotel Excites and Delights
Wes Anderson’s latest film has all the things we have come to know and love when it comes to his directing style. Sharp dialogue and stellar cast make this film truly wonderful. Comparing it to something personal, it is reminiscent of the time we spend with an older relative who has lived through some historical event whether it be a World War II or the Civil Rights Movement. We become engrossed in the story and at the end we are left wiser by the experience they have imparted on us. It also leaves us wanting more.
The story is told in flashback sequences from the perspective of Mr. Mustafa, the current owner of the hotel. It follows his exploits as a young lobby boy working under the guidance of a quirky concierge, Gustave, played by Ralph Fiennes. If anyone steals the show, it’s Fiennes; the quick witty dialogue would not have been the same without his stellar delivery. His character comes off as an odd mash up of a tramp and a stuffy maître d’, aspiring for the finer things in life while also indulging in senior-aged women whom he equates to a chuck cut of steak versus a filet. It is his exploits that get him mixed up in a murder mystery that occupies the film’s second act onward. Instead of taking a darker tone, the film plays out more like a more tongue-in-cheek Scooby Doo mystery. That is not to take away from Anderson’s work. Actually, I commend Anderson’s command at keeping a lighthearted and whimsical tone throughout even when dealing with the most serious of subject matters.
Many of Anderson’s stars cast make an appearance including Billy Murray and Edward Norton. Both give delightful performances in cameo-sized roles. To say any more about the characters or the plot would simply ruin it. I will tell you that Budapest deserves all the praise and attention it is getting. Movie goers will enjoy this film as the first of many original works we have to look forward to this year. I rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Go see it!