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“The Darjeeling Limited” (2007) Review

Darjeeling Limited Poster

Wes Anderson is a highly skilled director with an uncanny ability to create some very unique, and highly entertaining films. Having been a big fan of his past work (most recently, the wonderful “Moonrise Kingdom“), I have been meaning to see “The Darjeeling Limited” for a while now. After experiencing the film, I can say that this is another great entry into Wes Anderson’s body of work, albeit not without a few glaring flaws.

“The Darjeeling Limited” focuses on three brothers who have agreed to take a trip across India together to try to reforge familial bonds. This sets up the trio of Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, and Jason Schwartzman for an adventure they will not forget. What makes this story most intriguing is the development of the relationships between the brothers and their interactions with the world around them. The characters become more mature throughout the film, and the events that slowly cause this evolution are interesting to say the least. Wes Anderson’s ability to create such unique stories and characters shines through here, and this keep “Darjeeling” entertaining from start to finish.

Unfortunately, for how great the plot and characters are during the film, there just seems to be something missing from their back story. The viewer gets a sense of the brothers’ past, but I always had this feeling that I was not fully in-the-loop on what made them who they are. Without a more fleshed-out back story to this family, some scenes lack as much of a punch as they could have had.

Despite this one glaring flaw, the plot is still highly entertaining. The story is made all the better through some great dialogue and set/costume design. The dialogue has that unusual, and smartly hilarious touch that Wes Anderson always brings to the table. The sets are also eye-catching, ranging from many scenes within the small compartments of the train to villages to Indian country-side. All the sets and costumes have splashes of color that exaggerate certain objects and treat the audience to a visual treat.

A good amount of the film takes place on the train, but Wes Anderson creates such great interactions between characters that this small set never feels cramped or boring.

A good amount of the film takes place on the train, but Wes Anderson creates such great interactions between characters that this small set never feels cramped or boring.

Another positive for the film is the acting that Wilson, Brody, and Schwartzman bring to the film. They capture each brother’s personality perfectly, and make their situation believable. They work quite well together, and make each scene enjoyable.

One last thing of note is the film’s soundtrack. While I typically love Anderson’s film soundtracks (including the Portuguese David Bowie touch to “The Life Aquatic”), this one left me underwhelmed. It is certainly not bad, but just not nearly up to the standards I would expect.

“The Darjeeling Limited” is clearly a Wes Anderson film. It has all his hallmarks stamped upon it, and for the most part, it is a great movie. The passable soundtrack and lack of back story on the brothers detracts from the experience somewhat, but the high quality of the rest of the film’s pieces still make this a must-watch for Anderson fans or any fan of indie dramadies.

Final Score – 7.8/10

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2 thoughts on ““The Darjeeling Limited” (2007) Review

  1. Overall, I would say that I am a WA fan, having seen ‘The Life Aquatic,’ ‘Rushmore,’ ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox,’ and now ‘Moonrise Kingdom,’ and having thoroughly enjoyed the first two, had fun with the third, and some passing enjoyment with the latter. I don’t think I agree wholeheartedly with his movie’s often rave reviews on Rottentomatoes (often upwards of 90%), given how I feel that in some of his films, the random and quirky/eccentric/idiosyncratic nature of the humor goes a little over-the-top and distracts from the serious emotions of some of his stories.

    With that said, I think that WA is a talented cinematographer, visionary, and fills his movies with a lot of heart. I have seen ‘The Darjeeling Limited,’ but I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. I should give it try, because unlike certain types of films (cough! Bollywood!), if you get stuck with a WA film you don’t like, it’s only about 85 minutes long, lol

    Good writing in the review — very easy to read!

    • Thanks for the comment! I would recommend “The Darjeeling Limited” to anyone (like yourself) enjoyed Anderson’s other films, and appreciates his unique visionary style. Personally, I thought “Moonrise Kingdom” was his best film – so that may make my recommendation a little less appealing since that seems to be your least favorite. Though also in that respect, I also really enjoyed “The Life Aquatic”, so this may be right up your alley. Definitely worth a look.

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