The Grand Budapest Hotel (Film Review)

Jun 21, 2014
In a string of quirkiness present in his films, Wes Anderson proved to many that he is in fact one of the most original and innovative filmmakers working around with his signature style of movie-making. 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' leveled up the traditional offbeat-flair in his films, making it the 'Quintessential Wes Anderson movie'. It's one of those rare cases wherein it's style is it's substance, a pure delightful movie that will make both your eyes ---and mouth water.

A teenaged girl visits the monument of the writer who penned the book, "The Grand Budapest Hotel". In 1968, that author was inspired to write the book when he visited that hotel, located in the European mountainous country formerly known as Zubrowska. Once a luxurious hotel, it, in 1968, has fallen on hard times. The author meets the then current owner, M. Zero Moustafa, who recounts the story of how he became the hotel's owner and why he holds onto it and keeps it open despite it obviously making him no money. Zero's story begins in 1932, when the hotel was in its golden era. Zero was the novice immigrant lobby boy, who, like all the other hotel staff, was under the guidance of M. Gustave H., the devoted concierge. 

Gustave aimed to please, he giving the guests whatever they wanted, especially the wealthy blonde women. The story largely revolves around one of those women, the wealthy Madame Céline Villeneuve Desgoffe-und-Taxis - better known as Mme. D. - her opportunistic son Dimitri, the bequeathing of a valuable painting called "Boy with Apple" to Gustave, the mysterious circumstances surrounding her death which is initially pinned on Gustave, and the attempts of Zero, his girlfriend - a baker's assistant named Agatha - and others to clear Gustave's name while Dimitri does whatever he needs to get what he believes is rightfully his, namely the painting.

The chemistry between our two leads, Gustave and Zero was too good for words. How Wes Anderson sets up his own characters was full of care, and yet so fun. Neither of the characters are left behind, and given their own moment throughout. It is a fun movie that will never fail to make you smile, the film's effective humor and to my surprise: even the suspenseful moments. It captures the thrills and excitement from Anderson's past work, 'Fantastic Mr. Fox'. 
The movie's strirring moments involving Jeff Goldblum's character are off chased by Willem Dafoe's snappy role in a museum brought the abrupt suspense to the screen. Which makes me wonder: Can Wes Anderson make a horror movie? I like the idea of that. 

The film looks immaculate. Basically what you'll expect in a Wes Anderson movie. In fact, every scene screams Wes Anderson's name from the symmetrical stills to the countless rostrum shots. Almost every frame is gorgeous and speaks itself, as if you were looking through a beautiful portrait.

The ending is rather sad. Completely unexpected because the viewers were having so much fun with the quick dialogue (which was brilliant) and the back-and-forth of our characters. It is nearly perfect as its own, great but not the best of Wes Anderson (I would still prefer 'The Royal Tenenbaums' any day of the week).

Simply irresistible, 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' is a beautiful portrait of friendship and pastries. And it will never leave you without a single smile on your face.

The geek rates it 9/10. It's a late review, but it just came out on DVD and Blu-ray. Please, please see it, you'll never regret it.
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