The Darjeeling Limited: For Anderson Disciples Only
Filmmaker Wes Anderson's fifth cinematic attempt is even more frustrating than his earlier ones
The Darjeeling Limited
Cast: Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson
Written by: Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman
Directed by: Wes Anderson
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The Darjeeling Limited is about three estranged brothers who embark on a spiritual voyage in the hopes of re-bonding as a family. Jack (Owen Wilson), the oldest, who just survived a near-fatal accident, arranges for Peter (Adrien Brody) and Francis (Jason Schwartzman to join him on a pilgrimage via train to India. All three are depressed, and all three have self-destructive tendencies.
The film attempts to be emotionally profound through the deep conversations of its characters, but the effort is shallow. Jack and Peter try to unearth their brotherly affection, but the display doesn't stand out enough for viewers. Francis, the writer, insists that his characters are fake even though they're obviously based on the lives of the three brothers; when his revelation hits and he finally accepts reality, the sudden change seems completely artificial.
The movie's major problem is its script, written by director Wes Anderson, Schwartzman and Coppola. The result of the three's collaboration is terrible, a frivolous exercise in creating another version of Anderson's cinematic world. In the end, we're left with yet another Anderson-esque movie, this one completely lacking in emotional content.
The Anderson clan is intent on creating movies about overcoming family friction, like in The Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Their feet are planted on already cultivated ground, and this time there aren't any roots beneath the surface.