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The Darjeeling Limited

A comedy movie directed by Wes Anderson

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East and West Collide

  • Mar 3, 2008
`The Darjeeling Limited,' should be evaluated by how much mirth and wisdom it provides. The film comes across like a train wreck, giving us a fresh take on the familiar culture clash between East and West. While watching this film, I kept thinking of The Beatles and their films. One reason is that the three brothers presented run (madcap) through the titled Indian train; the other is that they journey through the heart of India searching for wisdom.

At the start of the movie Jack (Jason Schwartzman) is in France. He is a successful novelist renting a Paris hotel room for weeks on end. His lover calls, saying she has found him and asks him if she can arrive within a half hour. He says alright, but when she does arrive, it is established that he is there to get away from her. Even so, they feel so passionate about each other, they find it hard to part ways. He had to flee to Paris, but he doesn't resist her advances.

In the next frame of the movie, Jack catches up to his brothers, Francis (Owen Wilson) and Peter (Adrien Brody). All agree to an enlightening adventure to get away from it all, while their parents have been in India for some time. It is quickly established that their father passed away there, and their mother has entered a convent and become a nun. Francis is the eldest, and although he is the most vocal about letting go and absorbing the lessons they can gain from the East, he is also the most grasping and controlling of the other two.

He sets their purpose with three agreements: A.) Seek the unknown B.) with an open mind..., and C.) even if it`s shocking and painful. Funny, but without knowing it, we learn without preaching that all of them have brought plenty of baggage (literally as well as figuratively) along their journey.

In one telling scene, they are running for the Darjeeling Limited, and they all make it aboard while another man (Bill Murray) is left behind. Later on, because of mishaps that shouldn't be mentioned, they catch up to another train, and we find this character is on the same train. Just be still and don't run for trains, I can hear Wes Anderson, showing us in many frames. You'll catch another one. The journey within is supreme. "Arrive without traveling," as George Harrison wrote and sang for The Beatles' "The Inner Light". There is a more substantial development that occurs, but I'll leave you to unearth that for yourselves.

`The Darjeeling Limited' is more than a travel adventure. While I don't think mirth and wisdom were necessarily brought in aces, they certainly were highly present. Being a person who loves a visual feast, I couldn't help but be partial to Anderson's shifting 90-degree angle camera changes and how he captures the color and light. Besides the yellow lettering framing a vivid blue train, we have nearly neon colors contrasting with bright saris and white turbans. All in all, the film is not entirely a substantial journey, but an arresting one at that.

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More The Darjeeling Limited (2007 m... reviews
review by . August 12, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****     I first watched Wes Anderson's "The Darjeeling Limited" about two-to-three years ago. It was my first film in terms of the writer-director-auteur, and it wasn't exactly a warm welcome to his wonderful world. I found it dry, sporadically funny and sometimes amusing, but nonetheless hollow at its core. It was lacking in both sincerity and depth for me. Then I saw "Rushmore", "The Royal Tenenbaums", "Bottle Rocket", "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou", and …
review by . March 23, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Aboard the Darjeeling Limited it's a Funny and Enjoyable Ride
Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman star as brothers on a journey to the Himalayas to find their mother who left the family to become a nun. Most of their travels are on the train named the Darjeeling Limited. Wilson’s character, Francis, tries to be the leader of the bunch which doesn’t always go over well. Brody’s character, Peter, has a wife who is pregnant  (7 and a half months along) and she doesn’t know he on this trip. …
review by . December 24, 2007
If you haven't cared for Wes Anderson movies in the past, THE DARJEELING LIMITED will probably not help you get over that hurdle. In my opinion, his flat-out funniest film is still THE ROYAL TENNANBAUMS...but if you don't like that, it's hard to imagine you would like DARJEELING.     On the other hand, if you're a fan of the quirky, dead-pan, drier than dust humor, coupled with unorthodox camera work (a motionless camera, or a camera that moves side to side but seldom in and …
About the reviewer
John L. Peterson ()
Ranked #99
I am a substitute teacher who enjoysonline reviewing. Skiing is my favorite pastime; weight training and health are my obsessions;and music and movies feed my psyche. Books are a treasure and a pleasure … more
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The Darjeeling Limited is a 2007 American comedy film directed by Wes Anderson, and starring Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, and Jason Schwartzman. It was written by Anderson, Schwartzman, and Roman Coppola. The film also stars Waris Ahluwalia, Amara Karan, Barbet Schroeder, and Anjelica Huston, with Natalie Portman, Camilla Rutherford, Irrfan Khan and Bill Murray in cameo roles.
The protagonists are three American brothers: Francis, Peter, and Jack Whitman, who haven't seen each other for a year, since their father's funeral. The film begins as they meet each other in a train that travels through India, which is named The Darjeeling Limited.
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