Ricky's Film Reviews

Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases

The Grand Budapest Hotel

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Gustave H is a highly popular concierge at a famous European hotel. And his trusted colleague Zero Moustafa is always by his side.

However, events are about to take a rather sinister turn – leading Gustave away from his beloved hotel, and into some rather sticky situations…

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Cast

Ralph Fiennes – M. Gustave

F. Murray Abraham – Mr. Moustafa

Mathieu Amalric – Serge X

Adrien Brody – Dmitri

Willem Dafoe – J.G. Jopling

Jeff Goldblum – Deputy Kovacs

Jude Law – Young Writer

Harvey Keitel – Ludwig

Bill Murray – M. Ivan

Edward Norton – Inspector Henckels

Saoirse Ronan – Agatha

Léa Seydoux – Clotilde

Jason Schwartzman – M. Jean

Tilda Swinton – Madame D.

Tom Wilkinson – Author

Owen Wilson – M. Chuck

Tony Revolori – Zero Moustafa

Bob Balaban – M. Martin

 

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Theatrical

This movie was bloody hilarious. Colourful and extremely witty, I was captivated all the way through. So its not your average Hollywood smasher, but it is definitely theatrical – and I say this because of the atmosphere it created. I felt as though I was sat in a theatre, watching a brilliant cast ensemble and listening to the traditionally funny script of a live performance.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is narrated throughout, by Mr. Moustafa (Abraham) accompanied by a writer (Law) who narrates his own story of meeting the gentleman. The movie centres around the mishaps and antics of Gustave H, giving way to some very farcical situations. The one-liners, the dialogue between characters, the slapstick scenarios which unfolded.. it was like having theatre streamed live into the cinema.

Thespians, stage directors and fans of theatre itself may just love this movie due to the nature of it, the mood of it. It mirrors the exact atmosphere that I personally, have felt in theatres in the past.

 

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Surreal

Although a genuine story of a man’s younger years, the fashion in how this movie is played out is surreal. This is mainly down to the cast; people running around in a fluster, wide-eyed facial expressions, etc. The setting, scenery and camerawork also lend a hand to the creation of the surreal environment. Inside the hotel, we get some nice birds-eye views from balconies and stairwells – looking down on the foyer for example whilst characters are engaged in frolic. The interior structure and general colours reminded me slightly of that hotel in famous horror The Shining – long corridoors lined with pattered carpet, etc. All design certainly mirrored the era it is set in.

Outside seemed to be the stuff dreams are made of. Think of a vast bright sky, dotted with fluffy white clouds, tall grey mountains for a background – then stick a sumptuous, pink hotel in front of it all. That’s your setting. Calm, sweet, pretty. The image of the Great Budapest Hotel reminded me of a gargantuan wedding cake: a pink sponge base, layered with tiers of cream.

Beautiful if slightly surreal.

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Inappropriately Funny

Writers Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness nailed it with their hilarious script. Quick, colourful and bursting with innuendo, the audience were laughing out loud for a good percentage of The Grand Budapest HotelAnd the script was brought to life superbly by Gustave H (Fiennes) – the man was bloody hysterical, delivering each line with such perfect diction and pronounciation –  and terrific comedic timing. It is almost poetic, the way he speaks. Gustave H gets into some ‘awfully sticky’ situations – including fights, chases and a prison escape.

And during his antics, his flambouyant personality never falters, meaning he is the light and airy chap who looks on the bright side given any situation. But with personality comes voice – this character is outspoken and comes out with some shocking things..

One scene sees our main main stood over the coffin of a deceased friend. As he looks down at her, comments on how well they did her up at the morgue – and how he must get the same face cream she is wearing.

..the audience laughed out loud. But it didn’t stop there, the laughter erupted frequently. Especially whenever Gustave addressed a fellow (straight) gentleman as “darling”.

Risqué and inappropriate things were being said quite a lot, but were actually rather funny when vocalised.

 

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Storytelling

The Grand Budapest Hotel is brought to the audience through the art of storytelling.

Distinctive characters (I.E. the lawyer, the bakery shop girl, a tyrant, the maid and master, a rich old widow) each have their turn in the spotlight which adds nice variety to the movie; keeping it moving with great fluidity.

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As Gustave / Mr. Moustafa narrates the story, each scene springs into life, and then the spoken character takes over – scenes keep changing, but its good they do – because if they DIDN’T, this movie would seriously lack juice. It all blends one to the other at a great pace.

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Watchable

..very watchable.

I wasn’t jumping up and down with delight at this movie, but I did find myself enjoying it for all its 99 minute screen time. It is one of those again – let it run, wash over you. Don’t analyse it too much and you will find yourself naturally being sucked in to the action.

I sat back and enjoyed The Grand Budapest Hotel. I sniggered, laughed out loud, and embraced the parts which should be embraced. The cast, the colours, the stories – all blended nicely and complimented its surreal atmosphere.

 

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The Grand Budapest Hotel is unique. It has a very funny script which is played out by a fantastic cast ensemble. Colourful and dynamic, it tells the stories of various characters which echo through the generations.

Fast-paced action produces precious moments of slapstick farce, which is highly enjoyable. And if you’re wanting interesting characters – these people go a step further by setting a surreal scene in which caricature-style people are created.

 

I would absolutely recommend this movie to theatregoers and anyone else involved with on-stage performances – it is that kind of atmosphere, and would definitely suit the stage.

One of the most unusual things I’ve seen in a long time.

Give it a go.

 

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6/10

 

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This entry was posted on March 8, 2014 by .
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