The Darjeeling Limited (2007) – Wes Anderson

Wes Anderson’s films are always delightful and quirky, but The Darjeeling Limited is arguably his most emotionally grounded film. Featuring a script he wrote with Roman Coppola, and star Jason Schwartzman the film follows the journey of three brothers are they attempt to find a way to reconnect, and getting over the loss of their father, and the abandonment of their mother.

Francis (Owen Wilson) is the oldest brother of three, wrapped in bandages and in great pain, he has summoned his two brothers, Peter (Adrien Brody) and Jack (Schwartzman) to join him in India on a train journey aboard the Darjeeling Limited in an attempt to reconnect with one another.

But personality clashes, misunderstandings, and life cause problems for the trio as they bump into and trouble the train’s Chief Steward (Waris Ahluwalia) and a female steward, Rita (Amara Karan).

As the film progresses the narrative unveils the traumas, the moments, and the personalities that shaped each of the men, and how they interact with one another because of it. The brotherly relationships are recognizable and relatable even steeped in Anderson’s quirks like fun details, cross-sections, and off-kilter dialogue.

The brother’s and the train’s journey continues, and they begin to realize the luggage they carry with them, physically and metaphorically, need to be shed if they are going to move forward in life; recognize the impact and importance of the past, but don’t let it restrain you in your exploration of what is to come.

All three of the characters have arcs that impact the others, as well as themselves, and those they encounter on their journey, and each of them get their point to shine as Anderson tells the tale with practiced ease, working with familiar faces and actors who have become part of his recurring troupe.

I hadn’t seen this one since its initial release. I think the other Anderson films overshadow it with their casts, their cross-sections, and their little details, but settling in for this one I was delighted to find how much I enjoyed the emotional arcs for the characters, the locations, and the threads of drama and comedy that run through it.

As I’ve previously mentioned, each time I dig into a Wes Anderson film, it becomes my new favourite until I watch the next one. It’s cyclical, and I love that I can dive into each and every one of them, and delight in each one anew.

I can’t believe I’ve only for one more of his films to get through, Moonrise Kingdom. But I guess that doesn’t mean I can’t start them all over again.


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