Dec 29, 2007

The Darjeeling Limited

The Darjeeling Limited is immensely enjoyable, exquisitely filmed, full of subtle humour and beautiful observances of human behaviour. In other words, it's a Wes Anderson film. For when you see an Anderson film, this is what you receive. He is a film maker like no other. His gorgeous colours, wry humour and delightful interplay between characters are quite unique. I would say that The Darjeeling Limited might not hit the extreme heights achieved with his classics "Rushmore" or "The Royal Tenenbaums", but it is not far behind. This is a film of immense charm and heart, one that is sure to entertain, bewitch and delight. Mr Anderson is truly a great film maker.

Francis Whitman (Owen Wilson) has arranged a special train trip on The Darjeeling Limited. He invites his two brothers Peter (Adrien Brody) and Jack (Jason Schwartzman) to come with him on a "spiritual journey" through India. We learn that their father died recently and that the brothers have not been exactly close over the years. Francis is hoping that their journey will bring them closer together, which in turn will be a hard task to achieve. Immediately, I was drawn into this film. The dialogue between the brothers is seamless and full of subtle nuances. Anderson's characters are so richly drawn and finely observed, that is hard not to fall under their spell. Their journey encounters many bumps in the road. We learn much about them as the film progresses. We learn about the relationship they have with mother (Anjelica Huston) and the many differences that exist between the brothers. Francis is trying extremely hard to make things work, but is revealed as quite manipulative. Peter is about to be a father and is very suspicious about Francis' motives, whilst Jack is continually seeking the perfect woman. There is so much to admire in this film. The performances are flawless. Owen Wilson shows once again, that given the right material, his comic timing is second to none. Adrien Brody displays a wonderful comic talent, with some great visual humour, whilst Schwartzman is his usual idiosyncratic self. The art direction is superb. Wes Anderson was born to make films in India, the colours are vivid and overflowing with richness. Of course, the music is well chosen, with a lot of the songs being picked from a slew of Indian films, with a few Kinks and Rolling Stones songs thrown in for good measure. If you wish to be subtly charmed and visually delighted go and see The Darjeeling Limited. Also, there are many heartfelt and moving moments. A sometime criticism of Anderson's films is that they are full of style, but lack true heart. Well I am here to refute that suggestion. This glorious film is ample evidence to suggest otherwise.

4 Comments:

  • At December 30, 2007 , Anonymous geoff said...

    Did they show Hotel Chavelier before the screening?

     
  • At December 30, 2007 , Blogger Wayne said...

    Yes Geoff. Directly before the feature. It was quite strange and mysterious, but definitely worth seeing.

     
  • At December 31, 2007 , Anonymous geoff said...

    Oh cool. I was just wondering if they were showing it for the normal release as I had seen it at the preview screening. I definitely liked it but perhaps not as much as Tenenbaums.

     
  • At January 04, 2008 , Blogger The Constant Skeptic said...

    Great Wes Anderson movie, but I thought that Adrien Brody was miscast... he didn't fit with the others for some reason.... I posted music from the soundtrack on my site constantskeptic.com. thanks

     

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