It’s been a few years since genius film-maker Wes Anderson’s last film, The Life Aquatic, so it was with great pleasure that tonight we went to see his latest, The Darjeeling Limited. Unsurprisingly we weren’t disappointed, Anderson’s trademark visual style has been transposed effortlessly onto an Indian continent backdrop and the story, written by Anderson, Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman, is wonderfully uplifting and melancholic at the same time.
The movie centers around three estranged brothers on a journey across India on the Darjeeling Limited line. Each brother has his own character flaws, and the inter-play between them all is wonderfully engaging. As their journey progresses across the country other colourful characters are introduced, each with varying impact on the brothers and their life trajectories. Family relations, trust, spirituality and escapism are all investigated as the brothers continue their journey, and by the end of the film they are all changed – but for how long is the question given the embedded character flaws that have kept them going up till now.
Darjeeling Limited is a another great film from Anderson, perhaps not his best but it’s hard to tell these things on first watching. The dynamic nature of Life Aquatic is missing somewhat, being replaced more by emotional tones than melodies. If you love Anderson, you’ll love this – and if you’ve never seen his films then this is a great place to start.
Oh, and as a bonus before the main feature there’s a short – Hotel Chevalier – which fills out a sub-plot of the main movie, plus gives you a chance to how short both Natalie Portman and Jason Schwartzman are. Amongst other things.