The Grand Budapest Hotel is the sort of movie where the story being told doesn’t matter so much as the manner in which it is told. Ostensibly, it is a narrated story about a hotel concierge and his lobby boy caught up in a murder mystery and conspiracy. But I feel that in boiling it down to that one sentence, one would rather miss the actual point.
I’m coming to appreciate these arty movies. Everything in the experience oozes colour, eschewing realism and putting in its place an alternate setting where the story can unfold with less baggage. The use of lurid palettes and heavily stereotyped iconography allows for the movie to immediately show what something represents, without necessarily invoking all of the baggage of its real world counterpart. The experience isn’t well grounded, and that is almost the point in itself.
I can’t quite put my finger on exactly what was great about The Grand Budapest Hotel, but great it was.
- A story in a book, told by a narrator, who in turn had the story narrated to him.
- Willem Dafoe
- The Lobby Boy hat
- Detailed model buildings
- “You’re a straight guy.” “Well, nobody has said that to me before.”
- A few scenes were just a little longer than they needed to be
- I’m very glad I was in the right sort of mood. This could have easily lost my interest if I wasn’t already in a go slow sort of frame of mind.