The Darjeeling Limited

December 24, 2007 at 1:33 pm | Posted in Film Review | Leave a comment
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I went to see this film just before Christmas. Warning the review has spoilers.

Dec 24, 2007 by


Film Hanger

Paper Hanger Blog
Wellington
New Zealand

The film was directed by Wes Anderson, and starred: Owen Wilson, Adien Brody and Jason Schwartzman. The latter play three brothers making a journey. The script was written by Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola, and Jason Schwartzman.

On the face of it the three brothers are taking a train journey to re-ignite their bonds of brothership. Secretly, the eldest brother – Wilson – is taking them to see their mother – Anjelica Huston – who is running a nunnery at the foot of the mountains in north India. He tells them that he is taking them on a spiritual journey. Underneath the train journey is an analogy for life.

I have to confess that I am not a Wes Anderson fan: I found The Royal Tenenbaums only mildy amusing. I found the whole first half of the film inpenetrable. I kept wondering: “what is this about and where is it going?”. For a while I toyed with the idea that the three brothers represented America, that the brothers’ self-centeredness and complete blindness to the India that they were travelling through was some commentary by Anderson about the American’s view of the rest of the world.

The second half of the film seemed to make more sense. I decided that the film was about personal development. Anderson takes too long to bring it together – I almost walked out of the movie. It takes the death of an India boy that the brothers fail to save, halfway through the film, to explain why the brothers have not seen each other for a year and why there is an unresolved tension between the brothers.

The train, in that way that is seems particularly India, from a non-India perspective, is named “The Darjeeling Limited”. The train is indeed an analogy for journey through life – Anderson, in the usual subtle American way, confirms it in a train-journey-through-life sequence, towards the end of the film.

Owen wilson gives a particularly good performance as an annoyingly calm older controlling older brother.

The film is hardwork.

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