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3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
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The Darjeeling Limited has to be one of the oddest films I have seen recently, and one of the best. In typical Wes Anderson style it is the tale of redemption and salvation for a dysfunctional family, told in the quirkiest manner possible.

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.
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on 1 September 2012
It beggars belief how this movie has got only 3 and a 1/2 stars from other people. ...But I am not other people. This movie is about relationships. It follows the fragile and volatile relationships of three materially privileged brothers (they were raised in a disfunctional family) as they come together to partake in a 'spiritual' journey. It is surely an acquired taste. But how refreshing for those who tire of the way most movies these days seem to be crammed with computer animation and effects and nauseatingly fast action. The soundtrack works well, with an eclectic, bohemian mix of classical, and mostly sixties pop/rock (such as 'Where Do You Go To My Lovely' by Peter Sarstedt, who was himself raised in Darjeeling with several other brothers). I will not attempt yet another long account and critique of the story. The more complimentary reviews here accomplish that more than competently. But if you like the idea of a quirky, often touching comedy, set against the colourful backdrop of old-world India, this could be for you.
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on 21 July 2009
I'm trying to put my finger on why I didn't like this film as much as I wanted to. I love Rushmore, Tenenbaums and even Life Aquatic - so was excited to see his latest one.
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.

I feel it is a film where the result certainly doesn't meet the sum of its parts - all the right ingredients are there, it just doesn't seem right this time around. What I fear is that anderson becomes too involved in this little world the magic he puts into his films becomes tired and the effect diluted as it becomes too familair.

I am already thinking that my inspiration to go to the cinema and watch another wes anderson film about the parental and sibling relations of a rich yet eccentric family, who are having a reunion in someway - shot in his characteristic style, with an interesting soundtrack, featuring owen wilson, bill murray, angelica houston and a pale well spoken english girl, will be somewhat diminished having seen it done 4 times already - which is a shame, as what he does is done so well.

I didnt hate it - I will watch it again, its just too similar to everything else he has done to provide me with any wow factor. I was amazed the first time i saw tenenbaums with its style. rushmore's lead person max was just so likeable in his youthful brashness and i liked the mix of elements in life aquatic (humour, loss, dissapointment, action and soem strange animation!) - but TDL just didnt deliver anything noteworthy like his previous films have.
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on 2 February 2015
i would have to say i was let down by this. I am a big wes anderson fan and i get his style and i love it to be fair but here in as much as you can nothing really happens which can be the anderson way the big issue is that none of the three main characters are Likeable. This is a big problem here and one that kills most of the film. The soundtrack is good, the quirkiness is fine. the oddball pacing is ok and is there but i didnt care for anyone here, i didnt care one jot and that for me is andersons first fxxk up.
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on 8 June 2009
Having always liked the sound of Wes Anderson's films, `The Life Aquatic' and `The Royal Tenenbaums' both failed to live up to my expectations, despite the latter being a commercial and critical success. His archetypal studies of the human condition through damaged characters and dysfunctional families, is an acquired taste, but I've always been drawn to the intelligence and warmth inherent in his movies; despite their flaws.

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'. Starring Jason Schwartzman and Natalie Portman, it recounts younger brother Jack's surprise visit from his ex-girlfriend, and although nothing much happens - she appears, they have sex, they look out of the window onto Paris - it works reasonably well as a prologue to the main film.
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on 27 March 2008
It's almost guaranteed with a Wes Anderson film that you're in for a trippy good time, with more than a little melancholy to take the edge off. The Darjeeling Limited is no different. Three brothers (two reluctantly) set out on a journey of spiritual cleansing and sibling bonding as they travel through India.

The brothers (Owen Wilson, Adrian Brody & Jason Schwartzman) are still struggling with their father's untimely death a year prior and the subsequent emotional upheaval it left in its wake. Peter (Brody) is quiet and brooding, with a penchant for wearing his dead father's glasses, watch, you name it. Jack (Schwartzman), a writer, seems to be stuck writing the day of their father's funeral over & over again. And Francis (Wilson), the ringleader, is a total control freak who might, or might not, have driven his motorcycle into a mountain in a failed suicide attempt.

Sounds heavy, doesn't it?

Ah, but this is Wes Anderson. Where normally there would be Kramer Vs. Kramer melodrama, Anderson delivers something unbelievably funny and sublime. This is his calling card. And while some would say he's becoming something of a one-trick pony, I'd point out that many great directors pick a genre and stick with what they know; Hitchcock, Tarantino and Burton all come to mind.

While Wes Anderson films aren't for everyone - fans of fast-paced action will view his work as a form of slow torture, those who do get him are in for a treat. The Darjeeling Limited, with its tribute to the absurdity of the human condition, is just excellent.
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on 6 May 2016
described as wacky and off beat I thought it might have been as good as the grand budapest hotel unfortunately for me it was let down by a weak story and I felt the film was trying too hard to be different.
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on 4 March 2008
The Darjeeling Limited contains all the quirky elements that Wes Anderson fans know and love but there's something more here, too. This story has a greater emotional depth than his previous films and out of the usual dry humour and stylish set piece encounters emerges a subtle and ultimately rather moving story of acceptance and reconciliation.
The film opens with a wonderful scene in which a frantic businessman (Bill Murray) races for a train and is overtaken by a younger man (Adrien Brody) who passes him and leaps aboard as Murray slows to a resigned halt. Youth and age, hope and disappointment, the chance nature of existence; it's all here in a gorgeously filmed slow-motion sequence that entices us into an almost dreamlike readiness for the weird misadventures to follow.
The Whitman brothers (Brody and Jason Schwartzman) brought together by the eldest, Francis (Owen Wilson), haven't seen each other since the death of their father and Francis wants them to reconnect on a spiritual journey through India on a luxurious train (the eponymous Darjeeling Limited). Each brother is unhappy and dissatisfied in his own way and good karma is in short supply. There is bickering, suspicion and the petty accusations fly. When the brothers are thrown off the train (for harbouring a poisonous snake) they seem bound to go their seperate ways until they chance upon three boys whose raft has capsized in a swollen river. They save two but the third is killed. The brothers are welcomed into the boys' village and invited to attend the funeral.
Suddenly the bickering and angst is overtaken by a profound and respectful sadness and a burgeoning self-awareness and the rest of the brothers' journey is coloured by the impact of the boy's death and the memories it evokes of their father's funeral a year before.
The brothers continue to their journey's unlikely conclusion (featuring a lovely cameo from Angelica Huston as their mother) but there are plenty of questions left unanswered.
Really, though, the plot of The Darjeeling Limited is not the point. The colour, atmosphere and tone envelop us in a beautifully realized other world that feels both visually magical and emotionally real. Anderson's detractors always accuse him of having more style than substance but it is really a matter of where we look for the film's meaning. It may be light, daft in places and with barely a plot but the characters' journeys are real enough. The performances are terrific and the three leads spar beautifully together. Few other directors can match Anderson for visual flair and with its rich palette of Indian colours the film is a visual wonder. There is plenty of dry humour, too, and some laugh out loud moments. And though the tone remains bright there are moments so poignant and evocative that we sense the darker shadows behind all the brilliance.
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on 23 February 2008
Definitely the most underrated (perhaps, more appropriately, unknown) movie of 2007. The story of three brothers' journey to India for 'spiritual' purposes. The setting of the movie is breathtaking, the plot is funny, emotional and heart-warming. The acting is superb, Direction is excellent and the Soundtrack is perfect. The characters are well developed, they have wonderful, yet flawed personalities. Yet you can't help but love them! Sadly overlooked for Oscars, Baftas and Golden Globes, this is easily my favourite film of 2007, if not the Noughties so far.
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on 2 May 2015
The film was fantastic full of humour and great comedic timing. Also many gorgeous views and colours.
I enjoyed the bonus short film that accompanied it, Hotel Chevalier, as an extra.
It is closer in tone to Moonrise Kingdom that The Life Aquatic, but there is still adventure and wonder.
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