Recommendation – ‘The Darjeeling Limited’

I wonder if the three of us would’ve been friends in real life. Not as brothers, but as people.

What’s it about?

Three brothers reunite after their father’s funeral, on a train carrying them across the mountains and villages of the Indian countryside – the eponymous Darjeeling Limited – in search of their lost brotherhood, spirituality and perhaps something a bit more material.

Why watch it?

If you are already familiar with Wes Anderson’s movies and his artistic vision, then you know exactly the kind of quirky, deadpan humour that can be expected from this film. In case you aren’t, then this is a brilliant place to start familiarizing. The Darjeeling Limited tells the story of a journey undertaken by three lost and broken men (one even literally), who do not know how to cope with their father’s loss, and find relief in their individual coping mechanisms, no matter how unhealthy. Messy at times and poetic at others, this is an artistic experiment that explores and draws out the relationship between its central characters through a wacky yet intelligent script that knows where to draw the breaks, and where to let them go at each other. The characters are played with the right amount of awkward chemistry, the action elevates the conversation above the hilarity of its dialogue, and the whole thing screams fresh. A film that beats with the heart of the Indian countryside that plays backdrop to it, it embraces the colorful, spicy atmosphere and uses it to fuel the steps of their self-discovery.

Who made it?

The Darjeeling Limited, as is obvious from the get-go, is directed by Wes Anderson, and written by him along with Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman. The three brothers are played by Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman, while Anjelica Huston plays their mother. Natalie Portman, Irrfan Khan and Bill Murray (of course) also make brief appearances.

When?

2007

What’s the best part?

The visual comedy in the film that celebrates and uses the Indian landscape. But the sequence where the brothers save a drowning village and making it back to the train strikes a special note.

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