The Grand Budapest Hotel is loosely based on the events leading up to and including World War II while combining dark undertones, planimetric framing, stylized acting, and mood lighting to transcend various levels of time and locations in order to establish a basis of confusion, amusement, and diversion all at the same time by cutting from scene to scene in a planimetric but also story telling fashion from setting to setting giving the audience joyful memories littered with sadness as the main characters reminisce. This hidden darkness is the effect of joyful storytelling and Wes Anderson playing with Mise-en-scène by manipulating the setting, lighting, and performance of characters, which is meant to bait and hook the viewer and make them feel entertained but also hollow by the end of the film because of harsh realities.
As each cut-away occurs, the degree of the lighting, colors, and acting changes based on the setting; This method of cutting away is used to clue in the audience and grab their attention (or to do the opposite). This is evidenced in the beginning when an unknown girl is reading The Grand Budapest Hotel book at the very dull, yet important gravesite of The Author in Zubrowka; ends up cutting to 1985 with The Author himself sitting at a desk in a low key light addressing the camera in planimetric fashion and telling the story in a naturalistic sense of how he came around to write the story of The Grand Budapest Hotel. In terms of the rest of the film, these settings are very average in light and acting and give the audience false pretenses for the rest of the film and they are very important to the methods of Wes Anderson's Mise-en-scène because they are the reality of very plain use of lighting and used to draw out feelings of drabness and normalcy that is yet to be broken. Overall, these instances are used to teach the audience that the story will be told via cut-aways while also setting up the later points in the film for aggressive lighting, colors, and acting.