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Heartwarming / The Grand Budapest Hotel

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"We're brothers."

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  • Gustave's protection of Zero throughout the film. Especially noted when Gustave defends his protege against soldiers who demand to see Zero's proof of legal status. It was impressive to see considering Gustave did not hire Zero directly.
  • Inspector Henckels immediately recognizing Gustave as the man who was kind to him when he was a lonely little boy and ordering his men to release him and Zero, even extending his gratitude to the latter in the form of a safe-conduct. Later, while he's doing his duty in the pursuit of Gustave as a fugitive from justice, he nonetheless promises him fair treatment if he surrenders. Finally, he's the one who reads out Madame D's second will in public, thereby clearing Gustave's name.
    • As revealed by a Freeze-Frame Bonus, Henckels became Secretary General of the government-in-exile of Zubrowka during the war, then resumed his functions of inspector and awarded Zero a medal for his contributions to the country's liberation and economic recovery. Ten years after the events of the movie, he still speaks fondly of Gustave which he refers as a friend.
  • Zero's insistence that Gustave, whose reputation is well-known to guests, not flirt with Agatha.
  • When Zero explains how he ended up at the hotel is both heartwarming and a Tear Jerker. Soldiers executed his father and shot the rest of his family by firing squad. He's not an "immigrant", as Gustave first believes, but a refugee. Punctuated by telling Gustave "we're brothers".
    • Leading up to that, Gustave had gone on a very insensitive and racist rant about Zero's homeland and ethnicity, leading up to him asking why Zero even left his country to begin with. When Zero gives the above reason, Gustave is ashamed of what he said, takes it back, and apologizes, refusing to let Zero brush off the insults as nothing.
  • Agatha's recitation of a poem that acts as a metaphor of the mentor-protege relationship between Gustave and Zero.
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    • Earlier, Zero also recites a poem for Gustave, after Gustave breaks out of jail, the two fight, and then reconcile. Gustave compliments him on coming up with something very good and though it's cut short as they need to run from the police, he does ask Zero to remember where he left off so he can hear the rest.
  • Although it has a slight Squick factor, Gustave's insistence that he pay his respects to his departed lover counts.
    • Gustave asks for a glass of chilled water with no ice because ice is such a labour intensive commodity and the servants are busy enough with all the other guests at the reading of the will.
  • Zero's reprimand of his replacement Otto, while clearly out of annoyance, is done in a gentle and non-threatening way.
  • The prisoners adopting Gustave as one of their crew and as the indirect inspiration for their escape. Better considering Gustave had beaten up one of them beforehand and recounted the story to a visiting Zero.
    Gustave: It's you! Thank you, you sweet kind man!
    Large Prisoner: (nods)
  • The child coming back into the room to apologize for shooting a toy dart at the Author.
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  • Zero's love and attachment to the Grand Budapest throughout the remainder of his life despite many decades of loneliness and the hotel aging to disrepair and inevitable demolition. Mostly motivated by his years of happiness at the hotel with Agatha.
  • Gustave offering Zero some of his perfume.
  • Dmitri punches Gustave, and soft-spoken, polite, largely non-confrontational Zero's immediate reaction is to punch Dmitri. Up until that point, Zero showed deference towards Gustave as his boss, but that was the first concrete sign of his budding Undying Loyalty towards Gustave as a person.
  • Gustave making Zero his heir.

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