Friday, March 7, 2008

Darjeeling Limited Review


I can't describe why I didn't see this movie in the theatre, and now after watching it, I regret not having done that. It's not for everyone, but then again, Wes Anderson is not for everyone. In this movie Darjeeling Limited, he nailed it.

The Whitman brothers, played by Owen Wilson, Adrian Brody, and Jason Schwartzman set on a fully-loaded, perfectly planned spiritual journey together. They have not seen each other since their father passed away a year ago. This was my problem....that storyline alone, didn't sell me. Maybe it doesn't sell you, but the movie is so much more than the classic buddy voyage screenplay template.

The three are so similar, and so different it is fascinating to watch. They each have their demons and quirks, and it fuels the plot. Unraveling poetically, one impromptu (or accidental) confession at a time. I connected with them and their pain, and longing and need to make sense of it all. That is what makes it so ironic; both circumstantially and spoken. They are there to appear as if eager to find peace. Their dysfunction is trying so hard to function separately. The raw emotion and humiliation, and attempt to seem "in control" of everything is achingly beautiful. The kind of sad beauty you can only find with family or long friendships.

The cinematography was fantastic. You "got" India, even if only for a few minutes. The direction and acting let you smell it, see it, fear it....all in a matter of simple frames eloquently taking you somewhere else. The use of the color BLUE was amazing. The train itself, the wall in the small village, the night sky at the nunnery. (what? nunnery?) I was in awe.

A few of my favorite moments:
o The constant use of the term: "Do you think we can agree to that?"

o After hearing the message from their mother Owen Wilson's character says: "That sounds like bullshit; she's trying to sell us a vacuum cleaner."

o The three of them throwing rocks at the train. I would do that. ( shoulder shrug) I would.

o The forced attitude for spiritual experience ( that we all seem to have) which is so against the actual meaning behind being in the moment. During the peacock feather debacle when Owen Wilson's character says: "That's not right. (sigh). You guys didn't read the instructions."

o When Owen Wilson's character says: "He's got to be hired back, otherwise I might be a bad person."

o When neither of the other brothers had a reaction after Adrian Brody's character says: "She's angry because I didn't tell her I was coming here." - I laughed out loud. They nodded.

o All the tiny moments when Jason Schwartzman does bizarre things, like smash the Voltaire #6, or throw the flowers at the funeral. Incredibly funny( and easy to miss if you aren't paying attention).

Again, Wes Anderson is genius. In hour 1:21:51, it finally clicked that they were carrying their father's luggage...it is so literal that I didn't notice until then. So clever how that all pans out. What is it about running after a vehicle like a train or a VW bus that is so endearing? And what the heck is the point with Bill Murray?

Okay. Clearly I loved the movie. I should get paid for this. I just spent all my time, and yours talking about this for free. Free love. All'round...It's not for everyone, but it worked for me.

Next time I don't want to talk about cold-prickly subjects like my intimacy issues, or my daughter's friend's malevolence, I will just say:

"Maybe we could express ourselves more fully, if we try it without any words?"

1 comment:

Marcus said...

Thanks for the ending key plot point, Choose-Your-Own Adventure.