Sunday, March 09, 2008
The Darjeeling Limited
Hmm... How to review a movie that is simultaneously about philosophy, enlightenment, family dynamics, sibling relationships, pettiness, and also nothing at all? This is my challenge in discussing Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited. Three brothers (Owen Wilson, Adam Schwartzman and Adrien Brody) set off on a pilgrimage through India to find their mother who is now a nun. That doesn't exactly explain it, but it's as close as I can get.
From IMDb: Three American brothers who have not spoken to each other in a year set off on a train voyage across India with a plan to find themselves and bond with each other -- to become brothers again like they used to be. Their "spiritual quest", however, veers rapidly off-course (due to events involving over-the-counter pain killers, Indian cough syrup, and pepper spray), and they eventually find themselves stranded alone in the middle of the desert with eleven suitcases, a printer, and a laminating machine. At this moment, a new, unplanned journey suddenly begins.
What follows is kind of funny, kind of serious, kind of touching, kind of boring, kind of annoying, kind of bittersweet and kind of cool. This movie, if I have to sum it up, is all about losing your baggage, unloading all the stuff you're carrying around, all the stuff that's keeping you trapped in old roles and expectations. It's a comedy-drama, but it's neither wildly funny nor deeply dramatic. It's just an entertaining hour and a half that you won't regret spending on your couch. You also won't regret hearing the amazing soundtrack featuring music by the Kinks, the Rolling Stones and then primarily tunes from movies by Satyajit Ray, to whom the movie is dedicated. So it's recommended for both your Netflix and your ITunes downloads.
PS--The DVD also includes Hotel Chevalier, the 13-minute short that introduces TDL. It's rather boring and you might skip it, unless you are committed to seeing Natalie Portman's First Nude Scene Ever. (Don't get too excited; it's just her ass cheeks). I predict a lot of fast forwarding in 3...2...1...