Darjeeling Limited

February 28th, 2008 DVD Reviews, Film, Xpress

Wes Anderson is one of those filmmakers whose produce you can always tell at a glance. The offbeat characters, fractured family theme and slow dialogue with a heavy sense of the absurd are his distinctive hallmarks. Then there’s the presence of Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, Anjelica Huston and Bill Murray, or a combination thereof.

Does it sound like this review is going to be critical of Anderson always doing the same thing? Not quite, but it’s for films like his that the overused term ‘quirky’ is frequently bandied about.

Three estranged brothers (Schwartzman, Wilson and Anderson newcomer Adrien Brody) get together for a trip across India on the titular train service to spiritually reconnect following their father’s death. None of them trust or particularly like each other, ganging up on each other over ridiculous and trivial things that only drive the wedges deeper.

A series of misadventures both between and among the brothers and the Darjeeling Limited staff get the kicked off the train midway through the movie, and the film loses its way, Anderson seeming not to know where to end it. It’s like the train was an allegory for forward motion, the wandering that ensues feeling pointless but a good representation of the aimlessness of the plot. Most of the obtuse laughs are in the first half too, which doesn’t help.

If you like Anderson comedies there are better ones around. If you’re tired of his signature style and slight self-importance, The Darjeeling Limited is more of the same.


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