The Grand Budapest Hotel is definitely not what I expected it to be…
Gone are the more whimsical stylings of Wes Anderon’s that you could find in the Darjeeling Limited, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and Moonrise Kingdom.
All of those films had soundtracks that firmly emphasized the film as well as decor and colorings that made the story… a story. These visual and audio cues are still present in The Grand Budapest Hotel, but they feel like they’ve been watered down. It feels like you’re in this half world… half actual European town and half fanciful world… which is great and all, but I was just expecting a more complete fantasy world like that in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.
So far that is what really bugs me about this film.
It does not feel like the story it should be. It doesn’t have the feel of Wes Anderson’s earlier work. Perhaps this has something to do with the increased marketing and larger Hollywood studio being involved in the production of The Grand Budapest Hotel… but I speculate.
Another thing that bugs me is the dialogue.
The dialogue uses many, many, large words and difficult names…. and to top that off, the sound is a little off. They often whisper almost. So not only does an audience have to grapple with word usage they’re unused to they also have to struggle to just try to hear the words right. I mean, that’s just a little off putting for people.
But, after watching this film several more times… it has grown on me.
Because of the story.
This is not a story of success. This is not a story about M. Gustave. This is not a story really anything you’d expect it to be about.
The Grand Budapest Hotel is a story of sadness, of loss, of the world moving on without you.
Agatha was lost. Agatha’s child was lost.
M. Gustave’s profession was lost. It had died long before he even began working in it. But he kept the illusion alive.
That’s what Zero did.
Agatha and their child live on through the Hotel.
Zero traded a financial empire to a communist government so as to keep the hotel alive. To keep this illusion alive.
And there’s something beautiful in that. There’s something beautiful in a sad story that does not revel, over indulge in its own sadness. It’s as if the sadness is simply their in the story, but goes unacknowledged… leaving the viewer to feel as they wish.
In the end The Grand Budapest Hotel is a wonderful film… one I hope you’ll cherish.
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The Grand Budapest Hotel – Thoughts by Jordan Wunderlich is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.