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Discussion in 'Mayberry Lounge' started by europe1, Apr 11, 2018.
I saw that more as impeccability. Flip-sides of the same coin I suppose.
I think this is where we start to get into the intangibles of a story. Sometimes you're not really sure why it is exactly that a story appeals to you or entertains you; rather, you just know your reaction to it.
Well that's the way it is for me and The Grand Budapest Hotel. Even as I can admire its craftsmanship and appreciate the performances, and even as I can go so far as to appreciate the sentimentality, as I watch the film I'm just not gripped by it. This is the second time I've watched it and both times my reaction was more or less the same. That is, I enjoyed it well enough but it just wasn't that successful at really drawing me in.
Gustave is a complex character and I can see that as well, his status as an impeccable concierge. In fact, now that I think about it, being an impeccable concierge is the only way to get into that key secret society, whatever they were called, and all the members were concierges like Gustave from other major hotels.
The Society of the Crossed Keys.
The society consists of the 5 guys above and Gustave, each one of them, like the other. This is probably what @europe1 would label as pretentious, I find it charming. These MF'ers are like the Illuminati of hotel work.
I actually liked the Society of the Crossed Keys. One of my favorite things about the film, actually.
I think, for me, there's just something cool about the idea of being a part of a secret group of dudes who you know got your back no matter what.
Yea they were pretty bad ass, each one of them was a bad ass overseeing the success of a major hotel but connected together as a group. I noticed after I posted the pic of them that even the way they stand is shot in such a way as the tallest in the middle, the two shortest to either side of the tallest, and the two medium height on the outside. Symmetry even in the way they stand.
What’s interesting to me is that the story is told by an aged writer fondly regaling us a tale of his younger days of him meeting an older gentleman who lays out his life story that mainly concentrates on his own youth, which is then lived vicariously through the writer. But really, this is all being read from the writer’s book by a young lady, which means she is now building a connection based on the writer’s affectionate tale of a man who shares the stories of his glory days. Ugh, my head is spinning.
It seems as long as stories are being written down and then read, immortality can be achieved even after all the good days have passed.
This post reminded me of something:
Apparently there is a fan theory that the story is a fanciful and revisionist tale told by Gustave, not an older Zero. According to this theory, Zero and Agatha were both killed by the death squads and Gustave has created an alternate history in his mind to help him deal with the fact.
But you know how fan theories go. It's probably bullshit.
Sounds more like David Lynch.
Yes, you expressed what I was "feeling" in a way that I was unable to articulate. I wasn't sure why I was getting that Big Fish/Munchausen vibe but what you say is 100% why I was feeling that way when I watched The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Might not be that far off. We know someone was killed right? Either Gustave or Zero was killed and we know Agatha ended up dead as well. To compound the matter we can't tell by looking at Moustafa if he is an older looking Gustave or an older looking Zero. His skin tone is closer to Gustave's but it seems odd that he looks like neither of them.
Yeah, I did notice that older Zero doesn't look a whole lot like younger Zero. Though, as you say, he looks nothing like Gustave either.
It's an interesting theory. But I just don't feel like the movie itself gives us any strong reason to take it seriously.
Nah man, I was just acting factitious due to the sappy nature of the content matter. I don't dislike Budapest for it's content.
To take this position earnestly:
Pretentious means that one thinks that one is more important or profound than one actually is.
Does Budapest Hotel do that? Nah, I don't think so.
Man when I saw that all I thought about was that Andersson wanted to give another reference to Bill Murray and that turban-wearing guy who is in all his movies.
Mustafa says that all he has to remember Agatha and Gustave by is this old hotel, which causes him great sadness. Maybe Anderson's message is that by immortalizing these events through stories, Mustafa maybe do not have to be alone after all, that the good days live on inside us forever, and so Mustafa's love for Agatha/Gustave lives on... or something
Here is my problem with Moustafa. Anderson goes to great lengths to make sure ever scene is filmed to his vision of perfection, every tiny little detail. Why would he choose an actor that doesn't resemble an aged Zero or Gustave? Seems like something done on purpose.
Maybe. I dunno.
Don't discount the possibility of it simply being Anderson going, "We can get F. Murray Abraham?! Fuck yeah! Sign that dude up!"
Abraham is a great performer and has an ethnic look to him so Anderson may have just been like "close enough" because he wanted to work with him.
It does send a message about the "changing of the times." The old school concierge's had their own society and performed at the next level of service but then at the end, Zero's Lobby Boy just didn't give a shit. It definitely seemed like the times were already changing, during the telling of the movie, to our more rude, contemporary ways, and maybe Gustave was holding on to that time before which is why Zero said he upheld the illusion quite well. It is like the dying of an age and The Grand Budapest Hotel itself was rundown in disrepair by the end, like it had also died.
I can only accept that as a distinct possibility, and yet, Anderson seems like such a perfectionist.
So do you actually lean toward there being more to the story than is obvious, or do you merely consider it a possibility?
These kinds of stories always fuck me up a little bit because in a lot of cases I don't think that "progress" is actually a positive thing. Certainly sometimes it is; but certainly in some cases the old ways really are better ways.
I'm sure he must have known that Moustafa didn't look like Zero, he could have cast anyone for that task and more times than not directors get actors where you can sorta see who its supposed to be or they actually use makeup to make the actor look older. In the case of Moustafa he didn't age Zero with makeup or choose an actor that looks like him. Very strange for a perfectionist type of director. I can't draw anything else from it other than its strange to me.
Yes, progress often means losing something from the past, its the old ways dying to make way for the new and there can some sense of loss for a lot of people. Even when I look back to the 1980's I'm hit with a profound sense of how different the world was then compared to now.
I think in some cases it's more than just "a sense of loss." Not every age is equal. I think that some of our "advancements" have actually served to decrease our quality of life.