Not being much of a Wes Anderson fan, I was not sure what to expect when I watched “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”
The only Anderson film I had seen before was the 1998 comedy “Rushmore,” which I didn’t really get. It was very quirky, but not funny.
“Rushmore” was still fascinating to me. I didn’t get it, but I definitely wanted to.
Thusly, when “The Grand Budapest Hotel” came out, I was ready to give this odd-ball director another chance.
The movie opens with an old man addressing the camera, telling of a book he wrote titled, “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”
A flashback happens, taking the audience to a younger version of the author. The author meets Zero the old man who runs the Grand Budapest Hotel, who tells the author the story of how he came to own it.
The story begins with Zero as a teenage boy working in the hotel.
Zero himself was kind of a flat character, but to be fair, he was not even the main character. The star of the show was the character Gustave (played by Voldemort).
Gustave, the concierge of the hotel, takes Zero under his wing and shows him how to run a hotel.
Gustave, unlike anyone in “Rushmore,” delivered consistent laughs with his deadpan silliness and his Woody Allen-esque obsessive compulsiveness.
Gustave was fun to watch and fun to hear.
He stole the screen no matter whom he shared it with. His shenanigans could keep any audience’s attention.
This movie was not perfect and I don’t know exactly why. It was shot incredibly well and the story was interesting, but it just seemed too Andersony.
It was so packed full of quirks that it kept reminding me that I was watching a movie. There were too many shots of one person’s head in the middle of the frame.
The characters’ jerky movements and unnatural wooden speech sometimes seemed like Anderson would move on to a new shot after only one take.
It was still good. It just could have been better. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Wes Anderson needs to take a lesson from Hollywood and be a little more conventional.