The Darjeeling Limited - Movie Review


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The Darjeeling Limited

In this day and age, it's hard to criticize a Wes Anderson film without feeling like a film snob. It's all too easy to say I loved it, and even easier to say I hated it. I could perhaps show off to those ignorant film-major chumps and talk about how this latest work by Anderson appears to be heavily influenced by Whit Stillman's Barcelona, and that it perhaps falls short of that film's intimate exploration of friendship and family in a foreign world. I'm not going to though, because what Wes Anderson, along with Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman, have crafted is a thoroughly enjoyable and charming film that is bitingly honest and meaningful at its very core.
The story we are initially presented with is the meeting of three brothers on a passenger train in India, adequately named The Darjeeling Limited. These brothers, played by Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, and Jason Schwartzman, have not spoken to each other in over a year. Through the means of abruptly violating the others trust they reveal their own stories, or at least their version of it, with whatever details they so decide to leave out. What follows is their journey of coming to grasp with death, denial, and family. You know, everything in The Royal Tannenbaum's, but this time with snakes, tigers, and trains.
While the subject matter is certainly not unheard of for a Wes Anderson film, the story is carried by its characters who each capture your interest with undeniable charm and originality. They are strikingly easy to connect with, yet quirky enough to consistently bring entertainment. Even more impressive is the methods in which they further develop. In this aspect the film hits an emotional string that emanates long after it is over.
So I could be a really terrible person and point out the obvious artistic correlations between the characters emotional baggage and their actual luggage, or a number of obvious visual metaphors thrown about the screen, but I won't. Instead I will say that the film is an overall wonderful addition to the Wes Anderson library and won't really let you down, that is, unless you expected something completely different. In that case I will act like a film prick and suggest waiting for Noah Baumbach's new film.
In the meantime, however, see it.

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