The Darjeeling Limited [DVD] 
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Wes Anderson's comic Indian road-movie, set on a train, follows three brothers on a road-to-nowhere as they try to bond with one another after the death of their father. Trying to rekindle their sibling affections, Francis (Owen Wilson), Peter (Adrien Brody), and Jack (Jason Schwartzman) Whitman travel across India to meet up with their mother (Anjelica Huston), who has forsaken western life to become a nun in the Himalayas. Along the way, the hapless brothers fall victim to a range of mishaps, involving, among other things, pepper spray and an unhealthy fondness for pharmaceuticals, as their well-intentioned trip spirals out of control.
Family tension again provides dramatic comedy in Wes Anderson's new film, The Darjeeling Limited, about three American brothers travelling by train to find their reclusive mother in rural India. Like The Royal Tenenbaums, this film succeeds because of its smart, funny script in addition to the visual beauty of India and its luxurious locomotive transportation. In Darjeeling, the oldest brother, Francis (Owen Wilson), blackmails his two younger siblings, Peter (Adrien Brody), and Jack (Jason Schwartzman), into travelling to a monastery where their mother, Patricia (Anjelica Huston), has been in hiding as a nun. Supposedly embarking on a spiritual quest, the three men reminisce about the recent death of their father, and the family's irreconcilable problems previous to their reunification. Though they do find Patricia, Francis, Peter, and Jack grow immensely from another brush with death, this time an Indian boy they try to rescue, giving the film an added conceptual depth that Anderson's previous films have been accused of lacking.Co-written by Roman Coppola, The Darjeeling Limited is a finely-tuned critique of American materialism, emotional vacuity, and lack of spiritualism, presented in ironic twists and gorgeous cinematography and lighting recalling Altman's McCabe & Mrs. Miller. A lovely, poignant sequence occurs while the three brothers attend a traditional Indian funeral, and flash back to their father's one year prior. Moreover, the film's soundtrack culled from Satyajit Ray's films and vintage Kinks gives the film a timeless feel, removing it from the predictable indie rock scoring of independent releases. By far Anderson's best film thus far, The Darjeeling Limited offers a much-needed dose of cultural self-reflection, pillared against India's ever-evolving yet ancient religious backbone. --Trinie Dalton, Amazon.com
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Three brothers who have not spoken since the funeral of their father a year before set off on a journey across India by train. Ostensibly planned by one of them as a journey of self discovery and spiritual healing, the real goal is even deeper and more meaningful.
The film follows the brother's adventures and misadventures as they travel towards their destination. The planned spiritual experiences have limited effect, but after a seismic cataclysm befalls them they slowly start to realise what is important in life and all three start to find the spiritual healing they all need. It's a beautifully told story of discovery, both of the self and of the wider world. Written and directed by an in form Wes Anderson, and featuring some excellent performances from the three leads this is a film that sticks in the memory and manages to deliver a message without being preachy. There is also a great cameo from Anderson regular Bill Murray.
Five stars, no hesitation.
But during the film and at the end, I just had this inescapable feeling on anti-climax and dissapointment. None of his films are never known for their action scenes, exhilerating endings or passionate hollywood style characters - but I as i sat and saw the whole plot unfold in the 1st 45 minutes - i then felt the remaining 45 mins felt a bit drawn out and pointless. Yes there were some humorous moments and some character development - but there was also some bits on which nothing was devloped - the natalie portman scene was intruging but was actually pretty pointless apart from any arty little short. the sex scene with the stewardess, again did little to extend the plot or characters and the meeting with the mother did little other than show the audience where owen wilson picked up his bad habits from.
All the characteristic elements are there - evocotive use of colour and stage sets, distant yet eccentric characters, slow motion sequences set to old folk songs, amusing scenarios, sparse dialogue - all that you associate with a wes anderson film - so I can only put it down to the plot, script writing or acting. Neither of which again are terrible - I just feel that maybe anderson has become a victim of his own style. I read one review that said anderson is trapped in his own little stylistic world and needs input from someone other than his regular cast of characters and producers - which i think is very true. working with someone who has a different style and input could push him to vere his talents to something with a slightly different dimension to it.Read more ›
The Darjeeling Limited follows the fortunes of three American brothers who have been estranged for years and who all meet up on the eponymous train travelling across India, in order to repair their fractured relationship and to simply be brothers again. Owen Wilson is the domineering older brother, Francis, whilst Adrian Brody and Jason Schwartzman play the younger siblings. Francis' regimented behaviour - at one point even telling the others what they should order from the buffet car menu - soon causes the newly renewed relationship to fracture; this is compounded by the brothers' crazy behaviour getting them kicked off the train by the irate steward.
Eventually, after a further series of trials and bonding moments, the three find their mother - who abandoned them as children - and an emotional reunion takes place. This being a Wes Anderson film though it's not that straightforward, and through flashback we see how the three became estranged in the first place.
The film is a hit and miss affair overall, but I found it altogether warmer and more engaging than the director's previous works. The three actors work well together, and with a brief cameo from Bill Murray and plenty of humourous moments on the train, this is very watchable and not a little entertaining.
The main feature is preceded by a brief film titled `Hotel Chevalier'.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of my favourite films of all time. Just make sure you turn the sound up (the sound is integral to enjoyment)Published 3 days ago by matt
Could not keep watching, rather dull and does not enageg with viewer.Published 2 months ago by miss