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Tanya Khoury: A whimsical caper
May 23, 2014
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Imagine my delight after finding out that The Grand Budapest Hotel was on again at the cinema. I really didn’t know what to think – was it a prank? I had to make sure. I bought my ticket online and called the theatre twice to make certain that when I got there the film would still be on. I hurried down to the cinema, bought my wonderfully mixed popcorn and ran into the theatre smiling from ear to ear. Come to think of it, that whole scene must have looked very peculiar from the outside in. No matter, Wes Anderson’s highly awaited film was on and I couldn’t really care about my facial expression as I ran up the escalator to the cinema door.

Every time I watch an Anderson film I struggle with myself, trying to rearrange the films that he has made in my head into a Top 5 list. Then, a few hours later, I review the films again and the order changes. Understandably, after seeing this one there was another struggle; I shifted the order over three times and finally decided that this one has got to be in the Top 2 list, not number one but most definitely close to my all time favourite (The Royal Tenenbaums). It is not because of the way it was filmed or anything obvious like that, but the writing and delivery of each story within a story is just so exquisite, it’s hard to find anything close to it in another Anderson title.

I loved this piece of art thoroughly. I say “piece of art” because it truly felt like a moving portrait of different colours and backgrounds. Very meticulous in character, there was not a moment where I did not feel highly entertained. From the story to the gazillion cameos to the humour, everything about this film was a hoot; I was laughing out loud as well as deeply concentrating on each scene as though I was going to miss something if I blinked.

The story revolves around The Grand Budapest Hotel and the two main characters who work in it – the ever-so-famous concierge Gustav, played by Ralph Fiennes and Zero Moustafa, his lobby boy, played by Tony Revolori. Everything beyond that will take me forever to explain, given the vastness of the undertaking. There are plenty of hilarious connotations as this all takes place in different parts of the fictional Republic of Zubrowka (also known as Germany, the real location).

There is so much one can say about Anderson’s style of directing. Many people do not appreciate it and find it extremely distracting and others adore it to the point that it has become sort of a cult. The fact is, this particular film will cater to both these extreme audiences. No matter what type of film you appreciate or even prefer, the film will hook you – it’s entertaining and fresh. God knows we have been craving for good titles lately and this is a diamond in the rough. Go see it, because a) it will not be in the cinema for long and b) it is a visual experience, the kind you want when you go out to watch a movie. Wes Anderson and the whole incredible list of actors participating in this film deserve a well earned 8.5/10 in my books, hooray!
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