Last Updated: 09.16 PM, Dec 08, 2021
The Grand Budapest Hotel is the most peculiar movie I have seen in a while. The cinematography and production design of the movie is so delicately done, that the visual aspects of the movie contribute to the story as much as the script does.
The story begins with a young woman paying homage to her favourite author, shortly after which she reads the rest of his book, The Grand Budapest Hotel. The movie’s narrator then becomes the author himself narrating the said book, wherein he documents his experience of staying in the great institution that The Grand Budapest was. Eventually we learn how his rendezvous with the erstwhile owner of the hotel made him privy to an extremely exciting tale of ascent, dedication, betrayal and luck.
Zero Mustafa, the then owner of the Grand Budapest, started as a lobby boy of that hotel. His camaraderie with the concierge of the hotel, M Gustave H, presented him with peculiar situations. However, as a loyal friend and subordinate, Zero helped him out in all his shenanigans. Under his guidance, Zero grew up to be an efficient lobby boy, which also promoted him to be Gustave H’s constant partner in crime. The plot thickens when one of the regular visitors of Grand Budapest mysteriously dies, who incidentally also had a romantic relationship with Gustave. As fate would have it, they get embroiled in this hot mess, and one thing leads to another, and before you know it, Gustave H faces charges of murder. How they manage to set themselves free is what the movie is about.
The entire skeleton of the movie is in front of you, and even then, I’d assure you that you will love your time watching it. The transition from wide-angle to 15:9 frames not only accentuate the viewing experience, but also give us insight about the time period which the movie is currently dealing with. The muted pastel colour palette and absolutely synchronised outfits add to the sense of visual symmetry. The art design of the film is so immaculate that every scene feels like a painting. What is to be understood is that this sense of symmetry does not limit itself just to the visuals but extends into the motifs of storytelling. The juncture in which the characters found themselves before the narrative arc of the movie started is precisely where they found themselves at and end, except now the character dynamics have changed.
Several scenes of the movie have different streaks of movie-making in progress. Scenes resembling silent movies, the Wild West, and various other musical movies are evenly sprinkled in within the movie. Even after using such elaborate frameworks both in script and in form, The Grand Budapest Hotel is a deeply personal and individualist take on things, and hence should be watched.