A grand af­fair

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - ENTERTAINMENT -

More­over, a Wes An­der­son movie is sel­dom about the plot than it is about the char­ac­ter de­vel­op­ment and dy­nam­ics. And it’s amaz­ing to see dozens of your favourite ac­tors pop­ping in and out of the fi lm for sig­nifi cant roles, best of which is Adrien Brody as a ruth­less and wannabe heir named Dim­itri. Not to men­tion Jeff Gold­blum mak­ing a ter­rifi c re­turn as a lawyer, the young Saoirse Ro­nan as a pastry chef and Har­vey Kei­tel as a crazy pris­oner. An­der­son reg­u­lars Bill Mur­ray, Ja­son Schwartz­man and Owen Wil­son also cameo as does Willem Dafoe who is hi­lar­i­ous as a bad­die flaunt­ing boots and Drac­ula teeth. Ralph Fi­ennes ap­pears in per­haps his best, most mem­o­rable role since Schindler’s List with a deeply touch­ing per­for­mance.

The vi­su­als will blow you away with their or­nate in­tri­cate de­sign, but they’re softly toned rather than loud. The ho­tel it­self is a liv­ing, breath­ing en­tity rather than a mere set piece — it looks like a gi­ant bak­ery item and is pretty in­cred­i­ble, to say the least. There are so many imag­i­na­tive el­e­ments within the confi nes of the ho­tel that you could take some of them and cre­ate spinoffs of some kind. Alexandre De­s­plat’s mu­sic main­tains a bizarrely play­ful tone as the fi lm sprints from one un­pre­dictable sub­plot to an­other. It’s hard to pin­point the film’s in­flu­ences, but it’s easy to see that it re­mains re­mark­able and dis­tinctly Wes An­der­son in fl avour. It’s funny, it’s fas­ci­nat­ing, it’s unique, but most im­por­tantly, it’s also a lovely nod to the one as­pect that draws dis­parate hu­mans to­gether — art.

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