Movie Review: The Darjeeling Limited

I am a huge fan of Wes Anderson movies – they are all a reflection of a personal vision: he usually directs, writers, produces and is involved with the photography, design and soundtrack. I love the feeling of his movies and The Royal Tenenbaums is one of my all time favourites.

His latest, The Darjeeling Limited tells the story of three brothers, Peter (Adrien Brody), Jack (Jason Schwartzman, who also co-wrote the movie) and Francis (Owen Wilson) who haven’t spoken to each other since their father’s funeral, one year ago. Francis, the eldest, after suffering a near-fatal bike accident decides to reunite the family and organizes what he expects to be a spiritual journey through rural India, by train (The Darjeeling Limited itself). He expects that they will bond and somehow become friends and brothers again.

At first, they are all awkward around each other, their relationship seemingly difficult. It is clear that Francis, has acted somewhat as their father in facto, taking control of not only the arrangements but of all expects of their journey. The two younger brothers are not sure how to behave or to accept the guidance from the oldest but they go along, trying to enjoy the ride. They stop along to way in small towns, visit temples and eventually reunite with their mother who lives in India and had been missing since before their father’s death. It all sounds so very straightforward but in fact , Anderson’s movies never are: they are all so wonderfully weird and peculiar and The Darjeeling Limited is no different.

There are his typical nonsensical dialogues all delivered with dead-pan performances by the trio of Actors. Adrien Brody was particularly fine – I love how he can convey so much with his eyes. And Owen Wilson always delivers in his movies as well, very much far away from his comedy persona. There is a sense of intimacy between the characters that even though the brothers have been stranded, the sense of family is still there – they just need to be able to leave their baggage behind and start again. And they do.

Smart, funny and tender, with the beautiful landscape and people of India as an interesting background, this movie is amazing. Oh, and I just love the slow motion sequences punctuated with the kick-ass soundtrack.


  • Thea
    April 20, 2008 at 11:03 am

    Awesome review Ana–hmm, I’ve always seen this one in the rental store and passed it up. Wes Anderson is kind of hit or miss for me (Royal Tenenbaums awesome, The Life Aquatic…not so much).

    But now I am totally going to give it a shot! 🙂

  • Ana
    April 20, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    Thea, this one is definitely better than the Life Aquatic! 🙂

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