Saturday, 12 April 2014


Director Wes Anderson is one of the most underrated directors of our generations. You have probably seen at least one of this films. Some of his filmography include; Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Moonrise Kingdom. All films have been critically acclaimed. This year, he returns with a new film called The Grand Budapest Hotel.

As with most of Anderson’s films, The Grand Budapest Hotel features a mouth-watering ensemble cast, some newcomers but mostly his regular collaborators. The film has Ralph Fiennes and newcomer Tony Revolori in the lead. Surrounding them are F. Murray Abraham, Edward Norton, Mathieu Almaric, Saoirse Ronan, Adrien Brody, Willem Defoe, Jeff Goldblum, Jason Schwartzman, Jude Law, Tilda Swinton, Harvey Keitel, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Murray, Bob Balaban, and Owen Wilson. The film is written by Hugo Guinness and Anderson himself.

How will Anderson’s latest film fair up with his impressive filmography? Do read on…

(L-R): Ralph Fiennes, Saoirse Ronan, and Tony Revolori

The film chronicles the story of how a bell boy named Zero Mustafa inherits The Grand Budapest Hotel. We see his friendship with an eccentric concierge named Gustave and how he helps his mentor clear his name after being framed for murder. As we tag along Zero’s journey, we discover the strength of friendship, honour, and loyalty.

The entrance to the Grand Budapest Hotel

Unique and well-written. As with most of Anderson’s films, his stories are dark yet takes place in a colourful community. The same formula applies here. It had a straight-forward storyline though some sub-plots were unnecessary and difficult to follow. It had a good blend of comedy and intrigue throughout the movie. The comedy is almost a laugh-a-minute. It's quirky feel does wonders to the overall storyline.

Edward Norton (bottom) in a pivotal role
Top class and powerful. If you had read the list of actors in the second paragraph above, you have noticed such a wide variety of talent is present in this film. Everyone delivered good performances. If I were to single out which one was the best, it would probably be Fiennes and Revolori. They had more screentime than others. However, this overflow of star-studded cast resulted in some characters being under-developed and unnecessary.

Willem Defoe playing a villain
Tasteful and exciting. In true Wes Anderson style, he implores the same filming techniques from his previous film. The cinematography was excellent, good usage of pastel colours and creative angles. The editing was well done. Nice use of simple visual effects.

Director Wes Anderson on set while filming.
Good pacing. No complains here. I was engrossed in the movie which made me forget about the Mentos mint I had in my pocket.

Murder mystery and self-discovery all rolled into one.

Setting up miniature models for the film
It’s a little niche. May not appeal to those who like big budget films.

It has a really cool script.

The film is carried well by Tony Revolori and Ralph Fiennes
I highly recommend this for movie buffs. I believe you will like it. The movie is available is selected theatres in Malaysia. Check your local showtimes.


8.5 out of 10