Saturday 12 April 2014

Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel (second-pass)

World of Blackout Film Review

The Grand Budapest Hotel Poster

The Grand Budapest Hotel (second-pass)
Cert: 15 / 100 mins / Dir. Wes Anderson
WoB Rating: 6/7

The great thing about viewing some films again (first review here)is that you can take your mind off the plot and just enjoy the performances. In this respect, The Grand Budapest Hotel will never get old. Fiennes' delivery and comic-timing is masterful, and a rewatch highlights the rest of the cast's skill in complementing this. That's not to say that the film belongs to Fiennes alone, but he's certainly in the spotlight. Filtered through so many narrative viewpoints that you're not expected to buy into the reality (or otherwise) of the story, the film has a unique atmosphere and charm, and is the result of the cast and crew all pulling uniformly in the same direction. Notably, Wes Anderson's direction.

The aspect-ratio switching and shot-framing are as much a part of the film as the cast and story, and both are far more apparent watching the film a second time (although I think it may be a little jarring watching for the first time on your TV). While it could certainly be argued that The Grand Budapest Hotel is self-indulgent, when the end product is this delicate it's entirely forgivable.

What struck me as odd is that in a film as meticulously framed as this, I spotted a low-level continuity error. The scene with Agatha and Zero in her bedroom/sleeping-quarters features two camera-shots, one of which has the strap of her nightdress on her shoulder, the other has it down on her arm. the only reason I noticed is because of the frequent switching between the two (and the point in the scene in which she adjusts it so that it's 'up', presumably for the next take). It's absolutely minor-league in terms of film-goofs, but all the more notable because of the film it's in. Unless it's deliberate, of course, right Wes?

Is the trailer representative of the film?
That one is, yeah.

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?
I did.

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
It does.

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
You won't lose the comedy by watching this at home, but the aspect ratio switches will work better in the cinema.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Will I watch it again?

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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