Sunday, 16 March 2014

'The Grand Budapest Hotel' Film Review

Written and directed by Wes Anderson, 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' tells the tale of a hotel concierge M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) and his bell boy friend Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori) after he is accused with the murder of Madame D (Tilda Swinton), a rich lady lady who has left Gustave with an invaluable painting, 'Boy With Apple'.

With the rest of her family enraged, the two flee with the painting, chased by Madame D's son Dmitri (Adrien Brody) and his right hand man Jopling (Willem Dafoe). 

The first thing to notice with the movie is the visual style and artistry. Combining a fairy tale aesthetic with a lavish and decadent set, colour and frivolity flood the screen. There are fine details in every shot, from the choice of tones to the small objects and furniture. The play with scale, especially people, adds drama and a dynamic touch.

There is also a beauty in the way the movie is choreographed and filmed. A horizontality resonates as shots are panned length ways, across tables, sweeping the floor, people running across the screen, the train shooting past... In this way, the shot is framed but the edges undefined and the scene almost endless.

Although the plot wavered and wasn't quite direct, the visuals alone were enough to carry your attention throughout. At 1 hour 40 minutes, it did feel a lot longer than it actually was, but thankfully was split into 5 parts which made it easy to 'navigate'.

The one thing I thought was missing was a solid climatic moment. Whilst the congregation at the hotel towards the end did form some sort of build up, the bubble was quickly deflated by an abrupt change of scene and the resolution was somewhat long. Nonetheless, it was a solid and appropriate finish.

Ralph Fiennes- M. Gustave
F. Murray Abraham- Mr. Moustafa
Tony Revolori- Zero
Adrien Brody- Dmitri
Willem Dafoe- Jopling
Jude Law- Young Writer
Tilda Swinton- Madame D
Edward Norton- Henckels
Saoirse Ronan- Agatha

Also stars Mathieu Amalric, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray, Tom Wilkinson, Lea Seydoux, Jason Schwartzman and Owen Wilson.

'The Grand Budapest Hotel' boasts unparamounted visual style and effortless cinematography that is engrossing and captivating. The colourful and fairytale-esque aesthetic works wonders for this quirky movie, filled with dynamic characters and a gigantic cast. Though the plot was slightly lacking and a strong climax was missing, the beauty of the film was worth watching this for.

1 comment:

  1. Any single frame qualifies for wall space in a cinematic museum as the players ingeniously apply their emotive elasticity to fit the Anderson universe.


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