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Thoughts on "The Darjeeling Limited" . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Worth A Matinee or Full-Price Ticket: Matinee. Wes Anderson movies have their own sensibilities, and this one is not as strong as "Rushmore," which was a film worth paying full price.

Will I Own It On DVD: Probably. I own "Rushmore," "The Royal Tennenbaums," and "The Life Aquatic" on DVD, so I will likely add this one to the mix if I can find it for a decent price.

1) Most people either really enjoy Wes Anderson films or they loathe them. Typically, I like them quite a bit, although I also find them to be somewhat hyper-stylized and far too preoccupied with dysfunctional family dynamics. That being said, "Rushmore" was a great film. "The Royal Tennenbaums" was very, very good. And "The Life Aquatic" had its moments. Anderson's new movie, "The Darjeeling Limited," is interesting, but falls into the latter category.

2) If you're going to see "The Darjeeling Limited" at all, then I would see it now because they just started showing Anderson's short film - "Hotel Chevalier" - prior to 'Darjeeling' and the short which features Natalie Portman and Jason Schwartzman was better than the actual movie in my opinion.

3) Jason Schwartzman, Adrien Brody and Owen Wilson play brothers in the film, and the trio have a good chemistry together. The differing pieces don't entirely fit, however, that benefits the film as their brotherly relationship is often tense, sneaky and passive-aggressive in the movie.

4) Owen Wilson spends nearly the entire running time with heavy bandages around his face, and it's hard to separate his real life suicide attempt from the movie, where his character is troubled and melancholy. Wilson does a good job with the portrayal as he generally leaves behind his typical smirking and silly persona which dominate the majority of his comedic films.

5) Anderson's choice to set the movie in India was smart as the backdrop serves his story well, and gives it an exotic feel as the brothers attempt a "spiritual journey" that ultimately goes awry. The movie also features one of the best sets of luggage in the history of cinema.

Overall, "The Darjeeling Limited" is not likely to win any new Anderson converts, however, it was a solid film with some nice visuals and a good soundtrack. At the very least, it would be worthwhile to sneak into the theater early to see "Hotel Chevalier," and then go on about your business.



  1. Heff Says:
  2. Never heard of it. I'll wait for it on Dish as I do for all Owen Wilson movies, lol.

  3. I loved Rushmore and have been waiting for this to open...... but I have to agree with your reviews of his other movies, so I think I will put this on my Matinee List.

    Thanks for once again, saving me some $$, 2$... where's that tip can?

  4. Heff - It's more of an "art-house" movie or something like that. I would start with "Rushmore," and IF you like that, then proceed. I understand the camp that hates Anderson as well.

    Anonymous Boxer - I watched "Rushmore" again this past weekend after seeing 'Darjeeling' - what a great movie that was as Murray and Schartzman were great. And I'll put up a virtual tip jar once I get the site re-designed (who knows when that will be?).

  5. JLee Says:
  6. Our movie critic loved this and interviewed Shwartzman this past Saturday on our morning show. Man, the floor crew gets to meet all the cool people dammit!
    He was so funny and telling everyone to come see him and bring him brownies or cookies at this function he was going to be at later! haha
    As far as Anderson films, I think the funny moments outweigh the weird/awkward moments for the most part.

  7. BostonPobble Says:
  8. With the exception of Rushmore (which I enjoyed very, very much), I have always thought Anderson's movies would make really amazing short films but get a little draggy and convoluted as full-length features. It is no surprise to me that "Hotel Chevalier" works better than the film itself.

  9. Jlee - He swung through Austin right after Dallas apparently as he was staying a little ways up from the area I live by. And I agree with your Anderson assesment because overrrall, they work for me. How many brownies did you give him? Ha.

    Bostonpobble - I agree in that Anderson seems to work well in short spurts, but sometimes loses traction and his way over the course of an entire film. Visually, he's always great. And you should check out the short for sure.

  10. Miss Ash Says:
  11. I loved The Royal Tennenbaums ... so i'll give this one a try as well! Thanks 2DP :P

  12. Linda Says:
  13. "Hyper-stylized" describes this film perfectly! I really liked this one. I find that when I talk about this film, I tend to go on, and on, and on ..... In short, I have 3 brothers, and our family went on a lot of road trips in my youth. As the only girl, I was the audience. Sometimes it's about what you can relate to. : )
    Hotel Chevalier will forever live in my iPod, very cool short film!

  14. Miss Ash - Glad to have helped a bit. I hope you enjoy it (although I liked Tennenbaums a bit better).

    Linda - Personal experience definitely counts in how we relate to films, music, etc. I completely agree. I loved the short, liked the movie and am glad I saw both of them.

  15. vivavavoom Says:
  16. I didn't like Rushmore...probably only one of the few. Maybe I need to see it again. I did like The Royal Tennenbaums though, so his movies are 50/50 with me. Wonder why Luke Wilson wasn't in this one.

  17. Good question as I figured Luke would at least make a cameo - Bill Murray did.


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