Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Darjeeling Limited

It's been at least a month or more since my wife Tamar, and I had seen anything at the theatre and we were having difficulties deciding which film we wanted to see. Our time, since the birth of our son, has of course been very limited so we had to plan our choice of film very carefully. Tamar has consistantly nixed all my ideas about action films or gangster dramas. So it fell between Dan in Real Life and the Wes Anderson Indie The Darjeeling Limited. As much as I love Steve Carell, Tamar has an equal amount of disdain for him for some reason, so as the above title suggests we ended up seeing the Wes Anderson flick.
I have always considered myself a Wes Anderson fan. I loved Rushmore and the Royal Tennenbaums, but I admit I still have not seen The Life Aquatic. It's not like he has a whole lot of film that you can make that claim but two out of three I think classifies you as a fan. Anyway I will say that you can actually add a third film to that list because I did enjoy Darjeeling. The film is fairly simple. Three brothers, Jack (Jason Schwartzman), Francis (Owen Wilson) and Peter (Adrien Brody) re-unite in India a year after the death of their father. That's about it really plot wise. The great thing about the film was watching these guys interact with each other, taking an odd assortment of Indian painkillers and medications, and making a fine mess of things for themselves as they take this spiritual journey. Francis is controlling and kind of obnoxious, Peter uses the trip to escape the realization that he is going to be a father soon, and Jack is a womanizer who seems to be involving himself in doomed relationships so he can find a reason to run roughshod around the world. There are the little Wes Anderson moments throughout the film where one of the brothers looks blankly into the camera with some strange french song playing in the background. These little touches of Wes Anderson that were once funny and strange kind of get on my nerves in this film. Like for instance Jack for some reason or another is barefoot through the entire movie. Now one would think who cares if the guy is wearing shoes or not, but they seem to make a point of showing the audience this repeatedly throughout the film without ever addressing it and so it started to annoy me. I mean they are running around India with snakes, and well, there are snakes damnit and this idiot is running around without any friggin shoes and no one stops to say hey dude, where the hell are your shoes? I mean even in Die Hard everyone asks why the fuck McClane is not wearing shoes--it becomes kind of a punchline, y'know. Anyway, the film as a whole was entertaining and funny and there were some great moments from the main cast as well as the group of supporting actors like Irfan Khan, Anjelica Houston and Natalie Portman. Natalie plays Jack's ex-girlfriend in a fifteen minute short before the film begins. She also appears briefly in the film but if you blink you may miss her there.The film pokes fun at the French New Wave which is always a good idea in my book and you also get some great visuals as they trek across the Indian countryside. I doubt that this film will get a wide release so unless you live near a large city you might have to wait for dvd. But if you do it's a fun film with some great individual performances and it's pretty funny too.

Grade 3 Buckets

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