What to Wach: The Darjeeling LImited

What to Wach: The Darjeeling LImited

I'm an avid Wes Anderson fan.  I only really started watching him in the past four years, so forgive me for absolutely adoring Moonrise Kingdom and Grand Budapest Hotel.  His aesthetic and way of storytelling is fascinating to me. I love the cinematography and music in his films. I want to focus on The Darjeeling Limited today, though. 

The other night, I snuggled up with my laptop and a warm cup of tea and put on the movie, a recommendation of my boyfriend.  It's a story of three brothers that have had a lot of family drama, they don't really trust each other and don't see each other often, but are going on this spiritual journey through India on a train, led by the oldest brother, Francis (played by Owen Wilson).  

It becomes clear that praying in temples isn't necessarily what the brothers need to mend their relationships.  

The brothers spend a lot of time in a first class sleeper car on the train. Their quirks and personalities build this fantastic chemistry that allows me to adore the casting even more than I thought that I could. (Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman) 

If you've watched more recent Wes Anderson films, such as Moonrise Kingdom or The Grand Budapest Hotel, this is something I suggest.  One of Anderson's ongoing themes that I spot in each of his films is a sort of family melodrama, with The Royal Tenenbaums being much more in your face about it.  I highly suggest that you go and watch his earlier work if you haven't yet.  It's interesting moving backwards through his filmography, because it's almost like watching the deconstruction of something.  It seemingly appears more simple as the release dates get older and older, but I can promise you that is not the case.

The attention to detail in a Wes Anderson film is what keeps me watching and re-watching everything. I notice new things every time.  The Darjeeling Limited may seem busier and less organzized in regards to the props, but every single thing is intentional. I know I'm not the only person who discovered Wes Anderson through his more recent films.  We have to understand what comes with a big budget. Anderson, himself, has become a much more widely known, and therefore, has more backers for his pictures. That's why his more recent films look like they do.  Can you imagine Bottle Rocket on an actual budget?

This post seems to keep straying from the movie I'm trying to focus on, and instead turning into a heartfelt confession of my interest and obsession.

Darjeeling will make you feel emotional. The three brothers in this film haven't seen each other since their father's funeral a year prior, and even longer since for their mother.  I have three siblings, so I immediately put us in their situation.  These brothers don't trust each other, they don't tell each other things, they keep secrets between each other but excluding one, and they lie to each other.  It's a very unhealthy relationship. It seems the only thing that they bond over is their addiction to painkillers and tranquilizers.

This movie is kind of a hybrid family drama/adventure. It's unique and odd, and really honest. I'm never sure if my love of Wes Anderson overrides my ability to tell if the film is actually good or not, but I highly recommend The Darjeeling Limited.  It's different, and overall, it's heartwarming. Go see it. 

Because this post is all over the place, what is your favorite Wes Anderson film? Or, if he's not your cup of coffee, who is your favorite director? Who just nails film for you?

Published by Emma Rathe

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