Wes Anderson, the magician-director who is capable of transporting the audience into a magical universe filled with eccentric characters and breathtaking scenery, has struck once again….
The American director surprises us once again with his unmistakable style, on the verge of aesthetic overload. Wes Anderson belongs to that group of great directors, like David Lynch or Tim Burton, who are capable of building a universe on the confines of reality, where nothing is what it seems and where all that is unreal becomes plausible, without difficulties, without haste.
With his latest effort Anderson has shown how, behind the apparent frivolousness of the themes that are dealt with, there is a great aesthetic research and the will to put forward themes that are dear to him, such as the awareness of the passing of time or transmitting one’s values (to posterity).
The frivolous and alluring character of Mr Gustave, the very incarnation of a world made of pure vanity, decides to teach his phylosophy to his young groom (Zero Moustafa). The film is actually based on an eventful initiatory journey, which leads the young Zero Moustafa to become a great hotel director, as if to perpetrate the legacy of his mentor, his phylosophy. Wes Anderson’s latest effort is based in the Europe of the 1920s, in a huge and prestigious hotel in Prague, dominated by boundless ostentation, the reflection of a society which is mislead by thoughtlessness and frivolousness. Gustave H., the concierge of this luxurious palace, befriends Zero Mustafa, one of his youngest assistants, and makes him his protégé.
The young apprentice and his bizarre life mentor are subsequently involved in the theft and recovery of a Renaissance painting of inestimabile worth, bequeathed to Gustave by a rich elderly lady who has fallen prey to his gallant and obliging charm. The narrative and visual format is convoluted, but this does not prevent the audience from enjoying a tale which still manages to flow lightheartedly; undoubtedly a surreal lightheartedness, but always extremely enjoyable. Wes Anderson knows how to develop his story with energy and zest, instilling a magical fluency into everything.
A true cinematographic miracle, which allows the audience to move from one era to another, with an ease which is at times disconcerting. His is a variegated and über aesthetic world (a profusion of natural and artificial decorations), which navigates between comedy and gravity, really and truly a jewel to be admired with care and delicacy.