Monday, December 30, 2013

Wednesday Movie Night: The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

To usually like a Wes Anderson movie you're already someone who holds a streak of liking many of his movies. Just because you loved The Royal Tenenbaums doesn't mean you'll end up loving another though like The Life Aquatic. The Darjeeling Limited is much in this category. You might have to be a big Wes Anderson fan to enjoy it. The visuals, the setting, the characters, they're all very artsy and very much Wes Anderson.

Summary: Francis, Peter, and Jack have lost their father, and afters years of estrangement they reunite at the persistence of Francis who is going through a spiritual awakening after a car wreck. The other two brothers are going through significant changes of their own, and with no close family to confide in it seems they are all in a bit of silence crisis.Jack though finds potential in healing by falling for a girl he meets on the train, and they all soon discover that they could be reunited with their mother. This makes their trip a switch from being one where they are seeking a certain spirituality to one where they coming to terms with their lost and reuniting as a family.

Acting: The acting is what makes this movie intriguing. The guys obviously don't look like brothers, unless it was just Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman, but there is also Owen Wilson. Wilson is the main comedic part in the movie as Francis. Unlike the development of the other two though I never feel that his character Francis goes anywhere. Adrien Brody's character Peter is a bit more intriguing for me because his character does have some circumstances going on that do seem real puzzling and leave room for his character to develop a lot more. Jason Schwartzman is Jack and while his character has his funny moments and even the more interesting ones, he also still feels a lot like the other characters we've known him for. It's like an older Max Fischer. On a side note just had a craving to watch Rushmore.

Filming: Wes Anderson never disappoints visually, and honestly to date this has to be one of his most striking ones. It takes almost every element of his other movies to put it into a work that utilizes so many colors and fuses it into a vintage type color cast that is very pretty. Also, unlike The Life Aquatic and The Royal Tenenbaums I feels that Wes Anderson tries to move out of keeping his characters restricted to feeling like they are in a Wes Anderson movie. The flow feels more natural, the characters feel more real, and much more movement is added to the scenes.

Plot: Unlike The Royal Tenembaums though, the plot is a bit weaker. Even more so than The Life Aquatic. With it starting out being about a spiritual journey I honestly expected to focus primarily on what they would discover in India, but the focus remains very much apart from the culture of India. It starts off strong, and then somewhere in the middle of the movie it gets a little departed and unfocused in the story. By the end though the movie makes a come back with imagery that ties in the past of the men with their loss that makes for some very impacting scenes.

The Darjeeling Limited isn't one I would recommend to get someone acquainted with Wes Anderson. It's slow, it's a little uneven at times, but it features characters that are endearing and imagery you can expect from Anderson. So for the ones who have grown to appreciate him it makes for a movie that fits in nicely with your collection, and has scenes worth watching again.

Rating 8 of 10.

The Darjeeling Limited (2007) on IMDb

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