Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Thing That I Saw: Glimmer of Civilization in this Barbaric Slaughterhouse Edition

Taken from Wikipedia
On Monday night, I saw the Grand Budapest Hotel with my friend Laura. For those of you who are not in the know, the Grand Budapest Hotel is the newest movie directed by Wes Anderson, who, for me, is  undoubtedly one of the best directors of all time. I am a huuuuge fan of the trademark symmetry in all of his movies, his 60s/70s aesthetic, and his actors' repressed expressions. He often writes as well as directs his movies, and I have to say that I am in love with his writings as well. It is something that I've never really seen in anything else, book, film, or otherwise, before. It's so easy to get lost in his world where the characters at first glance seem incomprehensible and yet as the movie progresses they become more and more relatable and precious in the viewer's eyes. I am always speechless after watching his movies and more often than not I am left with a deep hollow in my chest because I didn't want the story to end yet. I mean I am the worst at seeing movies, I always check how much more time the movie has so I can finally breathe and not be anxious again, even though I actually love the movie (case in point: Pulp Fiction and Pursuit of Happyness)! I don't know, it's an issue. My point is that with Wes Anderson films, I don't get that at all. He's the one director whose work I could just enjoy and be emotionally involved in (all of the nostalgia) without giving me full-on anxiety.

Grand Budapest Hotel was not a disappointment. It is the story of the concierge, Gustave H., as told through the eyes of his protégé, Zero (Mr. Moustafa), to a man we simply know as "The Author," who then tells the story to us, the audience. I hope that made sense. But going deeper than the simple plot of the film, it is the story of loss and nostalgia. That feeling of hopelessness and defeat when you lose things that you can never get back. The idea of getting run over by time, not being able to catch up to the reality that things have changed. Basically, the usual Wes Anderson stuff. I think that's another reason why I love his films so much. Almost all of them has themes similar to the themes of Grand Budapest Hotel, and those are themes that I can connect and empathize with, because I've experienced them myself, and I guess so do all of the people who love and adore his work.

What I love about this movie in particular is the tone of inevitability in it. From the very beginning we are introduced to this rundown hotel that is miles away from the grand hotel featured in the movie poster. Instead of frivolity and extravagance it shows decay. And as the movie goes on you can't quite shake what you already know: that no matter what, this is going to be, at the least, a bitter sweet ending. And I just think that's really honest and I love it when films do that- when they extend from the immediate happy (or not) ending of the story. Because that's how life is.

Okay this turned out to be quite negative, and I really wasn't intending on it to be that way. Whatever. It's written now. Here it is. Thank you for reading.

-Danielle.


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