And we were not disappointed! Beautiful on many levels, Ralph Fiennes heads a star-packed cast with a performance of comic genius that's utterly engaging, perceptive and detailed in what is a delightful, fizzy, dark and delicious film of exquisite visuals, witty dialogue and well-paced story. Yet the Grand Budapest Hotel is still a considered, unsettling and surprisingly moving film, given its stylised nature.
Being of Eastern European decent, I found the hotel surroundings in the '70s GBH strangely familiar. Wes Anderson has captured every detail of the faded grandeur common to the similar establishments I visited on holiday in Poland as a child in late '70s (the stacked trolleys, white starched napkins and tired crockery containing always the same kind of delicious broth) and in so doing, he's re-created the lonely, crumbling atmosphere of a once beautiful now despondently beige Communist country.
The GBH in its heyday is of course a place of sparkle and delight about to be crushed by the ugliness of a dark and unknown army. The deliberate parallels with our own European history are obvious yet no less unsettling for that. The delightful Gustav H (played by Fiennes) manages to stick it to these dark oppressors and fiendish thugs, by maintaining his high standards, eccentric charm and poetic grace under what become the most ghastly of circumstances, and despite an almost catastrophic lack of cologne.
Ok, perhaps it could be trimmed here and there; there are moments that are perhaps unnecessary but hey, it is a confection as delectable as the Mendl's cakes that pack such a punch (as well as saw, hammer and chisel…)
"She was dynamite in the sack, you know…"
"She was 84!"
"Hmmm I've had older…"
What's not to like, *mum?!
(*To explain, my mother called just before we set-off to the cinema and when she heard what film we were seeing announced, in what could be a line from the film: "Oh you'll hate it, darling...")
All quotes with kindest permission from http://www.npr.org
|The Grand Budapest Hotel|