What movie was that...?

06 December 2009

The Darjeeling Limited

directed by Wes Anderson

A taxi carrying business man Bill Murray hauls ass through India on its way to the train station with all the pomp and gusto of a Mannix episode. As he sprints the last leg toward his train, a lanky-limbed addition to the Wes Anderson universe overtakes the distance and tosses his custom baggage onto the caboose. Adrien Brody is Peter Whitman, middle brother in a family of dysfunctional siblings who hardly know each other, let alone trust one another, and how perfectly he fits in with such Anderson regulars as Owen Wilson and Jason Schwartzman can only be summed up by his pitch perfect performance. How many other actors Anderson may have had in mind is irrelevant, but what is relevant is how wonderful his fifth (and best?) film is in every way. From the cinematography to the dialogue, the editing to the soundtrack, Wes Anderson’s film is as grandiose as its ambition, and it pays off. The three Whitmans meet at the eldest’s behest (a heart wrenchingly funny Owen Wilson) to take a spiritual trip through India to find what they have been missing since the death of their father. Wilson, Brody and Schwartzman have chemistry for days, and Anderson’s talent has only grown better with time. Some have dissed the film for being too similar to his other works, and to that I say this: did anyone dis William Faulkner for writing about Southern families all the time? No, they gave him a Nobel Prize.
Note: While I very much enjoyed the prelude film starring Schwartzman and Natalie Portman, I do not feel it was vital to the narrative as a whole. It's like a piece of candy to be eaten before the main course; delectable, but sans the nutritional value.

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