A year after their father's funeral, three brothers travel across India by train in an attempt to bond with each other.A year after their father's funeral, three brothers travel across India by train in an attempt to bond with each other.A year after their father's funeral, three brothers travel across India by train in an attempt to bond with each other.
I laughed out loud more during "The Darjeeling Limited" than during any other Wes Anderson movie, although "Rushmore" is probably more of an outright comedy. This screenplay wasn't written with Owen Wilson, as Anderson instead chose to team up with Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman for this project, presumably due to Wilson being too busy to do it. The result is a slightly inconsistent (and, as mentioned before, heavy-handed) screenplay but one with loads of delicious irony, wit, and dry humor. It's great stuff, really. There is a lot of depth to be found here as well, especially with Anderson's use of recurrent imagery in the film. There is perhaps more maturity and understanding of human nature here than in any previous Wes Anderson films.
The acting is once again top-notch here from Brody, Wilson, and Schwartzman, and Anderson's use of music is again incredibly fitting and beautiful while also being perhaps less frequent and distracting than his other films, allowing less room for accusations detractors frequently make that Anderson is nothing more than a glorified music video director. Also of note while discussing music is the use of various Satyajit Ray compositions in an acknowledgment of one of his cinematic idols and main inspirations, not only for this film but in general.
"The Darjeeling Limited" demands multiple viewings. It is a rich, complex, detailed, and gorgeous film which is a unique and fascinating look at some familiar thematic material recurrent in Anderson's work. It's not a perfect film, but it's definitely one of the best films of the year.
- May 9, 2008