As mentioned in my previous post, I have been on a sort of blogging hiatus for the past couple of weeks now - hopefully this post will mark the beginning of a more frequent and regular routine. As promised, I'm back with another film review - this time I'll be sharing my thoughts on The Grand Budapest Hotel, which is a film that I'd been waiting to see since before Christmas. Wes Anderson is one of my favourite film directors, so I had high hopes and expectations for this latest caper - and it certainly did not disappoint.
For those of you who don't know what the film is about, here is a brief synopsis taken from IMDb...
The Grand Budapest Hotel recounts the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune - all against the back-drop of a suddenly and dramatically changing Continent.
The Grand Budapest Hotel is about as star-studded as they come - and despite such a large cast, each character is endearing in their own way and played very well; I couldn't find much fault with any of the actors in this film at all. The cast is lead by Ralph Fiennes as Gustave H, a character who is the charmingly camp and comedic concierge of the titular hotel. Other supporting players include Jude Law as a young writer, Adrien Brody as the antagonistic Dmitri, Edward Norton as the police inspector Henckels and Tilda Swinton as the ill-fated Madame D. - and that's just the start of the cast list.
I found the film to be very comedic, as deadpan and black humour is something that I personally find very funny. While it can be said that the comic timing is similar to Moonrise Kingdom, the higher age rating means that you can expect more violence and little gore, which really accentuates the darkly humourous tone of the film. That's not to say that the film itself it hugely gritty or violent - there are merely glimpses of darkness that slip through the candy-coloured world every now and again to remind the audience of the political backdrop of the film.
The production design and overall aesthetics of the film are well worth a mention; as can be expected from an Anderson film, the visuals are absolutely stunning, with painfully precise cinematography and beautifully bold colouring. This lends itself well to the glamour and sophistication that the hotel aims to allude, but also keeps the tone from straying too far from comedy - it would be some achievement to make a dark crime saga with a colour scheme like this.
Overall, I would highly recommend a trip to the cinema to see this film - it is one of the best that I have seen in quite a long while. Even with its precision and loaded cast, it certainly does not feel like one of those money-grabbing blockbusters, but rather a genuine and charming film.