Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Darjeeling Limited

Quite possibly my favorite movie this year is The Darjeeling Limited, written and directed by Wes Anderson.  Wes Anderson has always been my favorite director ever, and this film could be his best yet.  Although he has been around a while, this is only his fourth film.  He writes and directs every one himself, so he covers every detail.

Anderson's films are not very mainstream.  They tend to portray quirky family stories with complex characters.  They all pay very close attention to detail, whether it be sets and costumes or lines and character traits.  The Darjeeling Limited follows the three Whitman brothers on their spiritual journey through India on none other that the train the Darjeeling Limited.

The one quirk about Anderson is his tendency to use the same actors in all his films.  Jason Schwartzman was in his first film Rushmore and stars in The Darjeeling Limited as Jack Whitman.  Owen Wilson has been in The Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and he stars as the oldest Whitman brother Francis.  Angelica Huston and Bill Murray were also in Anderson's last two films.  The newcomer in The Darjeeling Limited is Adrian Brody.  His awkward stature is perfect for the unusual look Anderson goes for.  He is my favorite in this film as Peter Whitman.

What's interesting about this film is the collaboration with Jason Schwartzman.  He helped Anderson write the script but also a short film that prefaces The Darjeeling Limited.  Hotel Chevalier tells the story of Jack Whitman before he goes on the trip with his brothers.  It focuses on his relationship with his girlfriend.  It comes up often in The Darjeeling Limited with several references to his girlfriend and Jack's common practice of wearing his Hotel Chevalier bathrobe on the train.

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