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The banality of crime. Two young men, Dignan and Anthony, walk along talking about "Starsky and Hutch." They're on their way to burglarize a house. After, they go to a café, play some ... See full summary »
Grief? Depression? Ambiguity in a Paris hotel room. Jack Whitman lies on a bed, ordering a grilled cheese sandwich from room service. His phone rings; it's a woman on her way to see him, a surprise. He readies the room, moving without affect, drawing a bath, changing his clothes. She arrives, as does the food, and the complications of their relationship emerge in bits and pieces. He invites her out on the balcony to see his view. Will they make love? Is the relationship over? Written by
This short film is a prologue to Anderson's "The Darjeeling Limited" and shares its flaws
Wes Anderson released this short film in 2007 as a prelude to his full-length film THE DARJEELING LIMITED, which depicted three brothers trying to reknit frayed ties on a train journey through India. In this short, Jack (Jason Schwartzman), one of the brothers, has been hiding away in a Paris hotel room for months. He is suddenly visited by a former lover (Nathalie Portman), with whom he appears to have had a troubled relationship, and whom he has not seen in a long time. The rekindling of their passion is played out almost in real time in front of the camera.
The short is in fact important as back story for the longer film, as Jack's relationship with this girl is alluded to, and objects from the hotel (such as a bathrobe) appear among his luggage in India. However, both the short and THE DARJEELING LIMITED suffer from the same flaw, namely that Wes Anderson had enormous eye for visual detail, but his attempt to depict a human drama comes off as cold and unmoving. Thus here one will enjoy the painstaking design of Jack's hotel room, full of all kinds of delightful bric-à-brac. However, the acting that Anderson brings out of Schwartzman and Portman is hammy and unconvincing.
With that visual richness but lame human drama, I cannot really recommend this short to a general audience, but it may be worthwhile for Anderson fans who have come to like his aesthetic from another film of his.
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