The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

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...I came upon a tomb, rain-slicked, rubbed-cool, ethereal...

I'll never tire of this world.

And it really is a world. The Grand Budapest Hotel isn't just a film. It jumps between four time periods and packs a vast adventure into 100 minutes (and it never feels like 100 minutes—it's simultaneously shorter and longer than that). It is full of color, much more so than our drab reality. Its characters are all eccentric; to be normal in a Wes Anderson film is to be anything but. We do not inhabit the same Earth as Zero or Agatha. We do not speak the same language as M. Gustave. We cannot stay at the Grand Budapest, for a hotel of such exquisite decor and dedicated employees could not exist in our world.

At least, not for long.

The melancholy of the third act really set in this time around. For how wonderful and sweet this world is, it's not without its darker side. Losing a dear friend to senseless violence. A loved one to a terrible disease. Never getting to revisit a magnificent place. We've been in this world for an intoxicatingly long time, and now it's time to say goodbye. But we aren't left with the perfection of the 30s. We leave with the deconstruction of the 60s, the bittersweetness of the 80s, and the imaginative observation of the present day. Through the Author's eyes, we become nostalgic for a time gone by, briefly visited, barely known, but wholly inviting. A beautiful, enthralling, hilarious world we'll never have the pleasure of living in. And perhaps, in the end, we shouldn't want to live there. The fantasy is just too good to be true.

In the end, we rise through the levels. We awaken from the dream. We're back to reality, and maybe it's okay. Maybe it's not so bad on our drab Earth. Maybe the highs of Zero's world aren't worth its lows.

Then again, maybe they are.

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