Posts Tagged ‘The Darjeeling Limited’

Movie Review: The Darjeeling Limited

March 21, 2008


As much as I wanted to love this movie as much as I loved Rushmore, Bottle Rocket, andThe Royal Tenenbaums, I ended up only mildly entertained. With The Darjeeling Limited, Wes Anderson continues his unfortunate slide toward fashioning glorified mix tapes, dotted with quirky dioramas, masked as films. The feature kicked off with a lousy short film entitled The Hotel Chevalier, a horrendous bit of eye candy that seemed scraped from the cutting room floor. I will never forgive Anderson for inflicting Where Do You Go To, My Lovely? on me repeatedly. Finally, the feature film starts with obvious journey overtones and excessively boxy characterizations of the three lead roles, played by Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, and Jason Schwartzmann. They’re all neurotic, secretive, and distrustful, on a train traversing India after their father’s death. Predictably, the three protagonists experience a spiritual awakening by film’s end, and all the difficult loose ends get neatly tied up. It’s a challenge to accept the rose-colored ending though after such emotional darkness amid Anderson’s trademark Technicolor set design. I also was a bit unsettled with the heavy hand Anderson took with injecting music into the film: he apparently listened to a lot of The Kinks and watched loads of Merchant-Ivory films while conceptualizing this one. The Darjeeling Limited is a light confection with deceptively depressing characters: it satisfies the sweet tooth while leaving the body malnourished. Grade: C+