The Darjeeling Limited
The Darjeeling Limited is a road movie with a difference. It’s by Wes Anderson so it was always going to be a game changer. His films, which are both deep and comedic at the same time, follow themes about broken families and very odd but photogenic people, and they look visually gorgeous.
This tale of three estranged brothers taking a train journey on the Darjeeling Limited across India is sumptuous, the brothers have not spoken since their father died the previous year, and their mother appears to have vanished, and the oldest brother, played by the always fantastic Owen Wilson, has more or less bullied his brothers, played by Wes Anderson stalwarts, Jason Schwartzman and Adrien Brody to come on this trip with him.
The scene is set for a farce as the brothers lug expensive suitcases around religious monuments, all the time swigging away on bottles of over the counter opiates as they come to terms with the past and start to build their future. The landscape of Rajasthan provides the vivid backdrop to their stumbling adventures, and as it’s an Anderson film, the details are sometimes kept in the background, such as when Brody’s character visibly winces when he says he is going to be a father, or when Schwartzman flirts with, then sleeps with the attendant on the train after catching sight of her while smoking out the window. You end up really rooting for the brothers, as they slowly come together, while dealing with death, religion, stray tigers and finding out that their mother, played wonderfully by Anjelica Houston, has become a nun in the Himalayas. The Darjeeling Limited has an undercurrent of pain and loss running under like the tracks under the train, beautifully matched by the soundtrack and the evocative colours of India. This many-layered film is one to watch again and again.
Writer and roving Scotswoman; found love in The Nederlands, enjoys cantankerous grumbling, fine wines and a damn good tune. Parent to two of the most awesome human beings on the planet. Rarely bored.