Movie Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel


Since the release, I’ve heard nothing but praise for this film. Problem was, I never had the time to see this in the theater. My friends have said I needed to see this film. So yesterday, I went to my library to pick up some movies. As soon as one of the staff put this film back on the shelf, I immediately snagged it and went home.

A concierge has to clear his name after being framed for murder.

So, I sat down and started the movie. I was pleasantly surprised to see a viewing recommendation for this film (widescreen) before it began. Usually, these kind of notices from the director are for the projectionists, such as this for Mulholland Dr., or in art galleries as part of an installation. Still, I didn’t have to worry as the flatscreen was already set for the film.

Now, it might have been that I saw this alone or that I had heard a lot of hype, but I thought it was decent. It wasn’t the full perfect ten or four/five star film that I heard it was. It had everything that a Wes Anderson movie has but I left wondering what the point was.

For starters, I would’ve used only two timelines, not three. Right off the bat, it started to enter Inception mode with the girl reading the book, which is about an author who meets a guy who recalls his story about the hotel. At the end, I forgot that this was only a book. It helps that the aspect ratios change with each timeline.

I sat down with the idea, literal-minded as I am at times, that the film would solely focus on the hotel, its visitors, and the quirky situations that would take place there. I was partially right. I’m not saying I was disappointed in my assumption but that I didn’t expect the movie to go in the direction that it did. Entertaining, sure.

Personally, I thought there were too many characters. True, most of the story is focused on the concierge and lobby boy, but when you have to keep track of nearly twenty other people with varying roles, it becomes tedious. Even if I had a cheat sheet, I’d still have trouble.

The set design is stunning, as usual. I felt like the hotel could actually exist and wanted to explore the interior as a whole. I would reserve a room just so that I could live there. It seems like the nicer and less haunted version of the Overlook Hotel. Funny if Jack Torrance ended up there.

If you’ve seen any stills from the film, it lies mostly in the red/purple range with some soft blues here and there for the hotel’s timeline. There’s rarely any green in this film. Seriously, try to find some.

Overall, it’s worth a visit but by the end, you may need to book another room at another hotel to catch your breath.

Also, could someone explain how this movie can be R in the States but G elsewhere? That’s what it says on the back of the case.


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