I’m not really one to enjoy horror movies. I have a far too vivid imagination to risk myself seeing horrific ghost or monster flicks when I know that I will just see everything in my sleep that same night. But what I do enjoy are intelligent horror stories, like The Babadook, or It Follows, ones that aren’t just chuck full of cheap jump scares, and have genuinely disturbing or troubling images and themes that make my spine tingle when I’m excitedly telling everyone to watch it. When I saw Guillermo Del Toro’s The Orphanage, I was left with just those feelings. Same goes for Pan Labyrinth, whilst that is more of a fantasy story, I think we can all agree that THAT ONE CHARACTER shit us all up the first time we saw it. So I know that Del Toro is capable of these intelligent horrors, or at least truly troubling imagery that stick with you, and for that exact reason, I was really excited to see Crimson Peak. That, and it’s fantastic cast, Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain (aka, the love of my life) and gothic themes, what is there to go wrong?
More often than not, you see huge posters plastered over every building and billboard in your area of the next big budget film with great effects, amazing marketing, yet a poor story line. Locke, I would safely say is on the other side of the spectrum. In my opinion, for my personal travels, which maintains mostly just the 486 bus route and perhaps the jubilee line here and there, I really haven’t seen that many posters for Locke. The only reason that I heard anything about it in the first place was because of last months Empire magazine. I have enjoyed all the work of Tom Hardy’s that I have seen previously, and the idea of just this one man in his car for the entirety of the film interested me incredibly.
I have been meaning to watch more of Wes Anderson’s films. I just know that they would be exactly the kind of film I’d easily fall in love with. The only film of his that I had seen previous was The Darjeeling Limited, which was pretty fabulous from what I remember. I had initially heard absolutely nothing about The Grand Budapest, considering that I watch little to none TV anymore, so I don’t get to see how well covered a film is on the TV. But as soon as my friend showed me the trailer for the film, I was like HOLY SHIT I NEED TO SEE THIS FILM IMMEDIATELY. Sorry for the language. But it just looked so epic.
I’m unsure as to why this link isn’t showing the video on the page, but ’tis just the trailer for the film – watch, enjoy, and be swayed!
Can we just take a moment to appreciate the amazing cast for this film? Firstly, Ralph Fiennes. That’s Voldemort for those of you who are unaware. Fiennes has been a firm favourite of mine for a while now, and his character of M. Gustave is absolutely hilarious. Fiennes is joined by a number of critically acclaimed actors like Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Edward Norton, Jude Law, Saoirse Ronan, and oh lord, so many more. This film is SO star studded, it’s got a little something in it for everyone, I suspect. Most of all these, however, are staples of the world of Wes Anderson, and so its nice to see a familiar cast in a wacky and familiar style which he provides.
My favourite thing about Wes Anderson’s films is that you will always know where you are with it. You can expect to see quick 90 degree pans, locked off shots with many parallels, a wonderful array of colours and just a very, very well thought out and beautiful film, and The Grand Budapest Hotel is no exception. It’s like The Great Gatsby in that world in which Anderson has created is completely reflective of the ridiculous and extravagant lifestyle’s the inhabitants live. I just absolutely wanted to be carted off to The Grand Budapest immediately after watching the movie. I felt like the movie also had a little bit of a Monty Python feel about it as well, in that some long shots looked almost like paper animations or something along those lines – everything about the film is just so artistic and colourful that I wouldn’t be surprised if you sat a baby down in front of it and managed to keep it entertained for a couple of hours.
Onto the story itself. The story is quite complicated to start off with, considering that it starts with a girl who visits a memorial of an author who visits the Grand Budapest Hotel in order to find out the story of the owner of the Grand Budapest hotel who then takes the reins of the narrative and explains the story of M. Gustave, the concierge of The Grand Budapest Hotel – fairly confusing when you think about it. I’m not sure if thats strictly ‘Chinese box style’ narrative, but its wonderfully layered none the less. However, I won’t lie when I say that I myself would have a hard time trying to explain the actual story of the film, because I struggled a fair bit to understand it. It’s all very stylistic all the time but I think at points, the film focuses a little too much on style over substance, in that I found the main plot points hard to find, and was confused as to what character’s motives were. But the film is basically a huge chase sequence between the family of the deceased Madame D. (Tilda Swinton) and M. Gustave (Fiennes). Even though I found the overall story pretty confusing, each individual adventure is presented very clearly, neatly and is very entertaining. It’s just really beautifully executed even if it is a little bit distracted by the art style.
I’m going to leave this near perfect film there. Though I perhaps couldn’t have the capacity to watch this movie again purely for the fact that, unfortunately I didn’t gain that much excitement from the story, it is absolutely definitely worth a watch purely for the aesthetic of the film. It’s very entertaining even if the story is a little distracted by the style, but I have no doubt that this would appeal to a pretty wide range audience. Yet another smashing film from Wes Anderson.