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Set in the fictional pre-war Republic of Zubrowka, The Grand Budapest Hotel recounts the story of legendary concierge Gustave H and his newly appointed lobby boy Zero who become entangled in murder when one of the Hotels most frequent visitors is found dead.
Part murder mystery, part caper, Wes Anderson’s latest proves to be his best live action film to date (I still consider Fantastic Mr Fox to be his best work period) using his very distinctive style and quirkiness to make an enjoyable and attractive film.
It’s certainly not without flaws; it’s plot is convoluted to the point where even the characters are confused and the story at times feels like it needs to be reigned in, but fortunately there’s enough visual splendour and technical ingenuity on show that it’s hard not to at least admire it.
The stop motion, title cards, voice over and excellent cinematography that are all associated with Anderson are on display here to the point where it feels like he’s paying homage to himself and it makes for a far more interesting watch than most films being made today.
It’s all star cast, some of which are regular players in Anderson’s films, all put in fine performances no matter how big or small the role, and are lead by Ralph Fiennes; whose flamboyant portrayal of the foul mouthed and slightly slimey Gustave H is a career best, and responsible for the majority of the laughs.
And there is a considerable amount of big laughs throughout he film, ranging from the slapstick to the sheer absurdity of what you are seeing on screen. It’s charming, interesting to look at and has a dark edge to it too with some more gruesome moments I wasn’t expecting.
The Grand Budapest Hotel is a film which despite some problems with it’s script, still has a lot of good going for it and at the very least warrants a watch. Every Wes Anderson fan will certainly love it and I found it enjoyable overall.