Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Darjeeling Limited: Grade C


The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman; with Anjelica Houston. Director Wes Anderson.

It’s actually the Owen Wilson Show. Brody and Schwartzman hardly have a dozen lines between them. Wilson does a terrific job as the dominating brother of the trio as they make their way across northwestern India by train. They are apparently wealthy, since they buy their way out of any situation, but they are also slackers, interested mainly in cigarettes, cough syrup, pain-killers and other over the counter meds, sex, poisonous snakes. None has achievements to tout, interests, ambition, or direction. Consequently, they are just not interesting characters.

The brothers are nominally journeying to find their mother (Houston), but the characteristically Andersonian theme is really sibling rivalry and the brothers’ (mostly Wilson’s) attempt at reconciliation. Wilson is intense and comedically sincere. He reminds me in that way of Steve Martin: you either laugh or cringe. Sets and locations are marvelous, the colors bright, and the Indian music enjoyable. There is no point to this light comedy, but it passes the time agreeably.

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