Wes Anderson’s latest film is a bright, brash, bold, and brilliant feature. Set in the fictional town of Zubrowka, it follows the story of Gustave. H, concierge of the esteemed Grand Budapest Hotel, and the trials and tribulations he undergoes after being suspected for the murder of one of his clients. Played by Ralph Fiennes, the lead character exemplifies all Anderson films embody with his purple and red uniform, charming demeanour and typical English gentleman mannerisms.
It is a film where every role seems moulded to the actor portraying it: even Bill Murray’s minor appearance is deadpan, deadest Murray, and met by the audience with a quiet squeal of glee. Melancholic and comic at the same time, it provides a dark undertone possibly more exaggerated than in his previous films, with the clear suggestions of war and oppression. Sharp shocks of humour cut through it, with the adolescent Zero drawing on his moustache with an eyeliner pencil, and Fiennes’ eloquent speeches abandoned midway through and ending with ‘Oh, fuck it.’ It’s a love story, it’s a war story, it’s an underdog story, it’s a comedy, it’s a brotherly friendship, it’s a rise against evil- it’s a snapshot of an ideal: capturing the perfect beauty before the fall. The Grand Budapest is everything you hope for in an Anderson film, and anything you could ever want from any film.