Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” features excellent casting decisions

Jimmy Graner, Rocket Contributor
April 9, 2014

Wes Anderson isn’t your ordinary, everyday human being when it comes to working in the movie industry. Known primarily for having a unique style when it comes to writing and directing, the finishing product will leave anyone feeling bewildered, but at the same time serene. Anderson puts time and effort into every last detail to present not just a film, but an understanding. Whether you’re a fan or not, pretending not to be astounded by his images would be a lie to yourself.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel”, opens in the present with a teenage girl who calmly makes her way to a gravesite where a tall and kooky tombstone sits. With her, she carries a book written by a character known only as “The Author”. The book entails the happenings of what took place at the Grand Budapest Hotel in the year 1968.

Zero Mustafa (F. Murray Abraham) a now old man and owner of the Grand Budapest Hotel, begins a reminiscence of how his ownership came to be. This is where the overall film takes its form. A man by the name of M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) is the acting concierge at the Grand Budapest Hotel in the fictional Republic of Zubrowka, a European state. With the difficult job of making sure all employees are on task, he must also take personal care of all the pampered upper-class guests.  For him though, his taste in elegant older women is what drives his ability to work well. After bidding farewell to a beloved Madame D. (Tilda Swinton), the most beloved of all his guests, he picks up where he left off with the help of his lobby boy Zero (Tony Revoiori), whom at this time is only in his younger teenage years. While showing him the ways, Gustave becomes saddened when he learns that Madame D. has been killed under strange circumstances. Racing to be by her side, he quickly learns that unbeknownst to his knowledge, she has left everything to him, rather than to her family. Infuriated with anger, Dmitri (Adrian Brody) a family member of Madame D. hires an associate of his Jopling (William Dafoe) to frame Gustave with a crime in order for Dmitri and his family to sustain full custody of all of her belongings. However, with the help of Zero and additional characters, Gustave’s reputation is quickly brought to justice.

Similar to many of Anderson’s movies, the well-generated cast produces an amazing tale. It’s as if every character is picked out accordingly to play the role they’re prescribed. Because most of them are previously witnessed, the audience is already familiar with the sense of stability the actors bring to the table.

While the characters try to persuade you into the plot, the perfectly placed camera angles and movements will have your eyes smiling like it’s picture day at school. The key is to keep us focused on the center of the screen so we can interpret every character, color, object and voice when it appears. To concentrate on everything in the shot is what gets us thinking. Our eyes sway away from the screen with everything else, because we’re used to seeing the same old routine. Perspective heightens our mindset and proves to be the essence of what we find thought-provoking.

With a little bit of comedy and a little bit of romance, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” will have you checking back in way before its time to check out.

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