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The Grand Budapest Hotel Film Review

By Darlene Vazquetelles
Edited by Therese Mulgrew 

At times, I feel that my taste is unnatural in comparison with  the majority. Some call it having a rebel mentality as I do not follow the trends; I call it being opinionated and sticking to my gut feeling. For example, I openly admit to not liking the R&B music produced by pop stars Beyonce and Rihanna, and I have often been called crazy for it. With that said, as a professional actress, at times I succumb to buzz worthy films, and pay my visit to the movie theater to see (possibly) the most talked about movie of the summer... 

So, I went to see the movie The Grand Budapest Hotel with high hopes.  So many people had been raving about how great of a movie it was.  Knowing that I was on my way to see a Wes Anderson film, I knew to expect a well-respected and talented cast ensemble. Stars such as Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, and Willem Dafoe graced the screen. Let’s just say I was not disappointed with the cast...

The lines were delivered perfectly, and Anderson's deep-rooted love for symmetry in his compositions kept me awake and interested.

This adventure/comedy/tragedy tells the story of a legendary concierge (Fiennes) at a famous European hotel on the verge of World War II and his protege, hotel boy and film narrator Zero Moustafa. It involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune. 

Two actors of vast difference play the same character at different points in his life which greatly confused me at the beginning. Abraham (older Moustafa) and his early version, Tony Revolori, do not look anything alike so it was surprising to me that they were supposed to be the same person. By the time I figured it out, it was already too late for me to put the pieces together.  

The Grand Budapest Hotel film by Wes Anderson. Costume Designer: Milena Canonero
The crazy, sped-up chase scenes added to my confusion. The film, at times, became too chaotic and frantic.  Even with the sections being introduced by titles and chapter readings, I was lost. Although I love comedy, I am not a fan of the caricaturistic technique used. This movie also contained heavy doses of Anderson's trademark gift: making the most mundane look ridiculous.

On the other hand, I absolutely loved the photography, images, symmetry, and color. The visuals and cinematography were breathtaking and perfectly executed. The set was beautifully designed with a gorgeous use of color and texture. The costume design department might be on their way to Oscar night. The uniforms for the soldiers and hotel bellboys were immaculate.  

In conclusion, this quirky, fast-paced, dark comedy is not in my list of favorites.  It takes more than engaging photography, a great cast, and other people’s rave reviews for me to leave the theater saying, "Wow, now that is a must see." 

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