Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, the follow up to his 2012 hit, Moonrise Kingdom, is a hilarious and quirky adventure set to the backdrop of 1930s Europe.
Told by means of a story within a story within a story, it follows the adventures of the infamous concierge of the legendary Grand Budapest Hotel, Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes). Accompanied by hotel lobby boy, Zero (Tony Revolori), his most trusted friend, he embarks on a journey to collect an expensive painting left to him by the recently deceased 84 year old dowager Madame D. (Tilda Swinton). Pursued by the dowager’s family for the painting, he races through a wild show of snowy landscapes, grisly murders, disconnected fingers, a prison break and a downhill ski chase.
Typical of Anderson, it is a visually stunning film with skilfully planned cinematography that shines through in every shot. The bright pastel colour palette only adds to this beautifully crafted, beautifully lit and beautifully costumed cinematic experience. Although, much like Anderson’s other works, there is little emotional depth, it is a stylistically enjoyable film and the script is a work of art in itself. The dialogue is crafted with wit and Fiennes gives the performance of his career as the eccentric and lustful Gustave H, brightening the film with his impeccable comic timing. Newcomer Tony Revolori gives an astounding performance as Gustave’s protégé with a precociousness that makes it hard to believe he is but a teenager. The supporting performances of Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe and countless other film icons bring an element of surprise to the film with their hilarious yet astounding appearances.
As a whole, The Grand Budapest Hotel is an enthralling film that will leave audiences contented and in high-spirits, the story styled with such splendour and humour that it makes for an excellent viewing.