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The Darjeeling Limited - directed by Wes Anderson

Tuesday 29 April 2008

Three brothers get together for a train ride on a spiritual trip to India. And it all goes crazy from there onwards – seeing as this is Wes Anderson’s new film, there is little surprise there.

After The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou and The Royal Tenebaums, Anderson has to know people are expecting good stuff from him. I can picture the mobs of reviewers looking for the tiniest flaws in his films to demolish his long-standing reputation as a crazy genius of American film-making. He writes his screenplays and dialogues, he directs the movies… And he adds the spice to each one that makes them a definite Wes Anderson production.

The Darjeeling Limited is no exception. Even the actors are a clear wink at the past movies – the strange appearance of Bill Murray; the presence of his favorite actress Anjelica Huston; Waris Ahluwalia, the impatient train conductor with the cute girlfriend… And then of course there is Owen Wilson. In Darjeelin he is the eldest brother, the rather bossy guy who thinks he is necessary to take care of the younger two (played by Adrian Brody and Jason Schwartzman). The performance of all three is perfectly in tune with the general atmosphere created by the film: beautiful images, slow-motions followed by fast and dusty travelling shots…

Wes Anderson is special. I suspect that in the past, his films could become a little nutty, a little hard to follow – which made them so fun. With The Darjeeling Limited, all the spectator is asked to do is sit back, laugh a little at times, feel a little sadness at others. The viewer, in short, is on the same spiritual trip as the three brothers… And it is a very pleasant one.


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