The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014): Uh…It Was Funny?

Don’t get me wrong, I definitely enjoyed watching this movie. And I also laughed through quite a bit of it.

It just wasn’t exactly what I was expecting.

I watched the trailer several times. It kind of looked like a movie I wouldn’t really like, so I was surprised when I did.

Although I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting. This is my first Wes Anderson movie, after all.

The Grand Budapest Hotel starts out with a girl, reading a book where the author, Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori), reflects upon his younger years when he had several exciting adventures with a Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes—who I found out is also Voldemort and that kind of blew my mind) and his very pretty girlfriend, Agatha (Saoirse Ronan) while he was a lobby boy in the Grand Budapest Hotel.

Here they are. One is a charmer of old ladies, another is a skilled baker, and there is also a lobby boy.

It all started with the death of Madam D. (Tilda Swinton–who I totally did not recognize) and her will. Involving a painting called Boy With Apple.

This is “Boy With Apple.” It’s a really big deal.

Madame D. had left it to M. Gustave, but there were some unhappy parties involved with that choice, such as her son, Dmitri (Adrien Brody), who then sends out Jopling (William Dafoe) to eliminate the obstacles in Dmitri’s way of getting “Boy With Apple.”

On top of that, Gustave has been accused of murdering Madame D. And did I mention that he and the lobby boy Zero stole the painting?

Their adventures are widely exaggerated, with several appearances of famous people, such as Jeff Goldblum, who was the attorney for Madame D.’s will, Edward Norton as the police officer attempting to catch Gustave after he escaped from jail, as well as Jude Law as the young writer listening to old Moustafa telling his tales. And also Bill Murray was in it.

Now, I am unused to Wes Anderson humor. I think I laughed a couple of times throughout this movie, although it was more of a quiet chuckle or a mental laugh, like the ones were you kind of inhale faster and type “lol.”

The Grand Budapest Hotel was quirky and somewhat fun, in an amusing fashion. There was nothing particularly breathtaking, but it managed to keep me interested until the very end.

This is not really a movie I would jump to recommend to other people, but if you’re bored and have nothing else to do, this is a movie worth watching. Also, I like the story within a story within a story thing.

Although, I have to admit, the narration at the beginning was getting a little tiresome, even though I understand that it’s supposed to be like the exact narration of a book that he was writing in the future, but adding “said Mr. Moustafa” to the end of everything he says was a little bit too much.

This is a movie where it felt like the plot was almost secondary. Yes, the plot is extremely important and is what kept me interested, but there was this unique feel to the entire movie, a certain feeling that I didn’t feel from any other movie. I suppose it’s the Wes Anderson air of it. I wouldn’t know, having not seen any other Wes Anderson movies.

Maybe it was also the pastel colors of the cinematography. I don’t know.

Either way, this certain quirky sense to it seemed to make The Grand Budapest Hotel stand out from other movies. It was also this feel that kept the exaggerated adventures from getting out of hand and just sounding stupid.

Conclusion: Although a little skeptical at first, I grew to enjoy The Grand Budapest Hotel as it relates the tall tales of Gustave and Zero as they travel along and meet new people and deal with hotels. Carefully executed with a certain flair, it brings out the amusing quirks of their adventures while keeping the audience interested with a simple, yet complete plot. 6.5/10.


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