The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

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8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great looking with typical Wes Anderson style

Flounders a bit at the beginning and gets direction as the movie goes on

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Darjeeling Limited

Studio:  Indian Paintbrush

Genre(s):  Comedy/Drama

Release Date(s):  October 26, 2007

MPAA Rating:  R

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Your moment of zen

Jack (Jason Schwartzman), Peter (Adrien Brody), and Francis Whitman (Owen Wilson) are three brothers who have been separated by events.  Jack is dealing with a wicked break-up with his girlfriend (Natalie Portman).  Peter is haunted by his father’s death and worried he won’t be a good father to his unborn child.  Francis is recovering from an accident and finds he must micromanage everything in his brothers’ lives.  Francis summons his brothers to India for a spiritual journey across the country upon the Darjeeling Limited.  The journey is meant to bring them together, but it also could change them forever.

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Yeah, we should definitely get this poisonous snake!

Written and directed by Wes Anderson (with writing help from Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman), The Darjeeling Limited is Anderson’s fifth film and followed the rather disappointingly received The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou in 2004.  The movie has a prequel short tie in called “Hotel Chevalier” which introduces Schwartzman’s character along with Natalie Portman, and it is generally found packaged with the film.  The Darjeeling Limited was relatively well received but also not as well as many of Anderson’s earlier films and has been released by Criterion (Criterion #540).

Wes Anderson really has a style and look.  He owns the movies he makes to a fault.  You know you are seeing a Wes Anderson film but at the point of The Darjeeling Limited, Anderson was already starting to become a parody of himself.  Though I do prefer The Darjeeling Limited to The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, I still feel it is one of Anderson’s weaker films.

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Whatchu talkin’ about, Wilson?

The movie’s plot is what hinders the film.  It is a story of grief, acceptance, coping, and brotherhood.  It clearly presents the characters and their faults for the first part of the movie while providing their “redemption” in the last part of the film.  I understand the importance of the first part of the film, but I feel that it goes on a bit too long and the end of the movie comes on too quickly.  I didn’t have a character to “like” through the whole start of the film and didn’t end up liking too many of them by the end as a result.

Anderson brings his normal players along for the ride but adds Adrian Brody to his collection.  The three leads work great together and I wish there had been more of a role for Anjelica Huston as the mother.  Both Bill Murray, Irrfan Khan, and Natalie Portman have small cameos and of course Kumar Pallana in his last role for Anderson.

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Get your peacock feathers ready!

Wes Anderson shoots his films like he writes them…quirky.  As a result, you can also see you are watching a Wes Anderson film quite quickly.  It works for what he does and his directing is clear and concise.  The India setting of the movie did leave me with more of an interest in going to India since it really highlights a lot of the beauty of the land.  I just hope I don’t have to go with any of the characters.

The Darjeeling Limited will be liked but not loved by fans of Anderson, but people who feel Anderson is too quirky might not like the film at all.  The story meanders with little direction or explanation (despite the fact that all the characters freely state their emotions and feelings), and it is more up to the viewers to determine the “plot”.  Anderson followed The Darjeeling Limited the critically claimed stop-motion animated film Fantastic Mr. Fox in 2009.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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