Saturday, February 9, 2008


Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman, Natalie Portman, Anjelica Huston, Amara Karan

Cinema 3, Greenbelt 3

This latest offering from Wes Anderson is just as quirky and eccentric as his other films "The Royal Tenenbaums" and "Rushmore". I liked the songs (combination of French, English and Indian music), the scenery shots of the train as it passes through the villages of India, the main compartment/wagon where the three brothers are mostly confined throughout their journey and the exotic feel which seeps through. It's almost as if you can actually smell the spicy flavor of that culturally rich nation. And having grown up in India, believe me I know what it truly smells like. I mean that in a good way.

But the film is more than just a train journey, it encompasses a spiritual trip for its 3 main characters, the Whitman brothers. Each one unique, contrasting characters all charming in their own way. The only common bond which binds them together is their surname, otherwise you won't really know or can't really connect them as brothers. One of them actually says: "I wonder if the three of us would've been friends in real life. Not as brothers, but as people." Probably not if you ask me.

Francis (Owen Wilson), the eldest likes to take it upon himself to plan out everything for his brothers even though he himself needs to figure out his own life. From ordering what food to eat, to coming up with a daily itinerary during their trip, he can be a tad overwhelming, sometimes. Peter (Adrien Brody) a soon to be father likes to hold on to the items of their recently deceased father, obsessively. While Jack (Jason Schwartzman) has his own troubles dealing with the recent break up of his complicated relationship. Together they venture on a train, the Darjeeling Limited in an effort to bond together as brothers as well as deal with their trust issues. Follow their adventures in the train as well as off as they travel with the monogrammed luggage(s) of their dead father. They are loaded with intoxicating medicines for their various ailments in their aim to find and reconnect with their mother, Sister Patricia Whitman (the brilliant Anjelica Huston) who has run off to a remote place in the Himalayas to care for orphaned children.

So there you go, is that quirky enough for you?

It has to be said that this sort of film doesn't really suit everyone! Yet if you are an adventurous film goer willing to be entertained with something different once in a while then by all means, stick around. Soak in the scenery, the spiritual aspect the movie tries to convey, the well developed and fetching characters as portrayed by three really talented actors who are the heart and soul of this film. Laugh at their situational comedic experiences as they explore the culture of India, its people and in the process despite and inspite of their strange journey they find their true selves.

Francis: I guess I've still got a lot of healing to do.
Jack: Gettin' there, though.
Peter: Anyway, it's definitely going to add a lot of character to you.

I conclude by saying that "The Darjeeling Limited" certainly has a lot of character to it!

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