Monday, October 22, 2007

The Darjeeling Limited The Review

So as promised, let's get to Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited, which I finally saw last night in a packed theater. While I walked in not expecting much, due to some of the mediocre reviews, I simply fell in love with this movie.

"Limited" is the tale of a spiritual journey three brothers go on after a year separation from each other. Francis, played by Owen Wilson, orchestrates the trip through the Indian countryside to bring the family back together after the accidental death of their father and disappearance of their mother. The movie follows the spiritual journey and the three brothers finding themselves and each other on a colorful sleeper train.

The two younger brothers, Peter (Adrien Brody) and Jack Jr. (Jason Schwartzman) seem reluctant to be with their brother and apprehensive for the road trip, or rail in this case, that lies in front them. Wilson charms the viewer with his overzealous interest in the brother's journey and managing the smallest details of everything during the trip. Brody has a subdued performance, which he relied heavily on the strength of his face to bring across the deep mourning his character is going through. And finally, Schwartzman is able to play a complex adult character in which witty retorts are not his only conversations. With the recent events in Wilson's personal life, this movie mirrors the fact that he is a much more complex person then we all thought. And no one is better at easily bringing Wilson's talent to the screen then Anderson. Anderson brought together three very different actors and was able to make them work so cohesively you not only believed their relationship, you wanted it mended.

This movie brought three severely emotionally injured characters to an incredibly vivid location and allowed me to honestly watch the natural story of this family to progress. While Anderson's films are familiar with the fractured family tales, this movie discusses it a bit more eloquently and brings the hokey endings to an abrupt halt. While his characters are still a bit caricature in their aesthetics, there is definitely more depth behind elaborate "costumes". There is an authentic funeral scene in a small, small town within India that evokes so much emotion, its breathtaking. It also proves that this movie was actually made in a remote location, within a complete opposite culture then Anderson usually resides in.

This movie jumped leaps and bounds over "Life Aquatic" and I have to say I am glad Bill Murray was only present on screen for 5 minutes. Not only did this movie excel at its fine story telling, but the shots were absolutely gorgeous. The usage of rich and vibrant colors always sets a mood and is much different then Anderson's usual muted, yet rich tones. I can easily say now a cross country train ride through India sounds incredibly appealing to me now. Wes, as always, makes the viewer pull for his characters and want their fractured lives fixed. This movie showed that growth doesn't come in a neat package and that fractured relationships do not always mend well. I can not recommend this movie more, even if you aren't an Anderson fanatic. This movie will take you to another place, on an actual journey.