Movies and literature are two mediums that are hard to combine. Books leave more room for the imagination to show what the story tells, while movies show it to you straight away with the aid of actors in a bunch of scenes. Sadly, movies based on books tend to become a different story than the ones in the books they’re based on, which plenty of people find more annoying than the movie makers understand. But there are directors who know how to get most of the story onto the screen, but that’s usually because they wrote the stories themselves. One example is Stephen King, who’s turned many of his books into films by himself, like Carrie, The Dreamcatcher and Misery, to name a few. Then we have one director, who seems to have a talent for making films look like they came out of a book, even if they’ve never been books in the first place. That director is Wes Anderson and his latest movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel, follows that same fashion.
The story in this movie is being told by Zero Mustafa, the owner of the almost run-down The Grand Budapest Hotel, which he tells to one of the hotel’s guests over dinner. Zero’s tells about his time as the hotel lobby boy under the management of Mr. Gustave H., the hotel consierge, who’s taste in older women lead him to inherit from one of the hotel guests. Unfortunately, Gustave is soon blamed for the guest’s murder…
Those who’ve seen the movie The Royal Tennenbaums will recognize themselves in the film, since The Grand Budapest Hotel follows the same trend. The movie is narrated in a readable fashion, the characters appear to be dry on first glance and some details get extra screen-time to show their importance to the plot, no matter how relevant they are to the story. These kind of things would normally make the entire movie boring and dry, but not in this case. Instead, you get that comfortable feeling of sitting at some cosy spot, sunken into a nice, good book. If movies based on books were directed like this, chances are they’d keep that same feel the book originally gave and details wouldn’t need to be replaced with utter rubbish, like some movie makers do, even if that would make the story a bit dry and slightly longer… but The Grand Budapest Hotel didn’t feel long. It didn’t even feel too dry. Instead, it felt very comfortable to watch. So comfortable, in fact, that you wished you watched it from a cosy couch with a blanket over your legs and a cup of hot beverage of your choice, instead of having to pay for an over-priced cinema ticket to watch it on a large projector screen.
Book or movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel gets a 4/5. The comedy could have been better, but the story makes up for it and the last thing a book-lover will experience from watching this film, is boredom. As for non-readers, save the cinema tickets and wait for the movie to be available for home-viewing instead for a better experience, because this movie is much better suited to watch on a comfy couch in a cosy livingroom than in a huge cinema, where the seats are restricted, the floors are sticky and the overall experience plus snacks will cost you a huge amount of money.