The Darjeeling Limited Wes Anderson

The Darjeeling Limited Wes Anderson
I was more forgiving the first time around but after a second viewing of The Darjeeling Limited, I just wish Wes Anderson would grow up and move on. Instead, while making leaps and bounds as a visual filmmaker, his storytelling continues to retread his rapidly tiring favourite themes of self-pity and parental abandonment. His principle characters in The Darjeeling Limited are essentially a trio of emotionally stunted man-babies: spoiled brats searching for a brand of spirituality you can only find in a travel brochure or at the bottom of a bottle of cough syrup. And who can really buy Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman and Adrian Brody as brothers? It’s all moping and mugging for these three siblings convening for a train trip through India in the wake of their father’s passing. Wilson plays anal-retentive elder brother Francis, who engineers the trip in an effort to reconnect with his younger kin. Between train car sexcapades, poisonous snake wrangling, endless childish squabbling and indulgences in enough prescription medication to down a baby rhino, the spiritual quest goes predictably awry. With more than half the movie gone, Anderson tries to steer the ship into more serious territory, and since the film isn’t really very funny, it might have been a good idea — if he wasn’t so damn obvious and ham-fisted with his K-Mart metaphors for spiritual enlightenment. One has to feel sorry for Brody; he’s a great actor but terribly miscast here. His acting chops stick out like a sore thumb against Wilson and Schwartzman, and his serious despair is at odds with the film’s silly, immature tone. Hotel Chevalier is included, optionally as the first part of the story or as a stand-alone feature. The only proper special feature is a "making of” that details the enormous efforts spent by Indian artists hand-painting pretty much everything on set — the work on the trains and trucks is especially impressive. After seeing the Chief Steward of the titular train (Waris Ahluwalia) joke with the snake responsible for finally getting the brothers booted from their journey, it unfortunately looks like it would’ve been a more enjoyable movie as Snakes On a Train with Ahluwali in the lead instead. (Fox Searchlight)