Saturday, October 06, 2007

Darjeeling Limited

Wes Anderson's already the kind of director that you discuss when you sit around with your friends, asking each other, "What's your favorite Wes Anderson movie?" For me it's probably Bottle Rocket, and I wonder where The Darjeeling Limited is going to fit in people's list.

It's the story of three brothers (Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, Adrian Brody) taking a "spiritual journey" across India on a train called the Darjeeling Limited. With Anderson's customary eye for detail, "Darjeeling Limited" adorns everything from table cloths to pajamas. The constraints of shooting in a small space - train cars - is quite similar to his last film, The Life Aquatic, which primarily takes place on a ship at sea. The combination of the fascinating details and the tight shots make for a pretty amazing visual experience, but it's the character development and the strong performances by the three main actors that round out the movie.

Like Hotel Chevalier, the companion short, or "part 1" of The Darjeeling Limited (apparently the short was meant to have been played in theatres before the movie but due to some cock up with Fox, it didn't happen. You're encouraged to watch it before going to the theatre), the audience is given few clues about the character's lives - sometimes they reveal themselves slowly, sometimes not. I love this type of subtle film-making, which places a lot of trust in the audience, instead of banging them over the head with obvious exposition.

I've read some criticism that the film lacks emotional resonance, but I think that's exactly the point - the three brothers are so disconnected from their own emotions and from each other, and taking the difficult steps to reconciliation.

4 comments:

mike said...

It's probably my third favorite after Rushmore (#1) and The Royal Tenenbaums.

But it took my a whlie to warm up to the Tenenbaums, so it could take the #2 slot eventually.

Kathy said...

I love the Tenenbaum's, and its probably sitting in the number one spot right now. But Darjeeling Limited looks veeeerrrry promising. Can't wait.

dave said...

Kelly, Think I would enjoy it? Dad

Special K said...

MMmmm.... I doubt it, Pops.