Monday, November 19, 2007

Darjeeling Limited: movie review

Wes Anderson's Darjeeling Limited
Wes does not stray too far from his pattern here. Darjeeling Limited is another example of creating quirky familiar characters, with actors we all know and love, and setting up a beautiful backdrop in India for them to run amuck in. I need to mention off the bat, that even I am critical here, that I am a big fan of Wes Anderson's work to date. Especially, Royal Tennenbuams and Bottle Rocket.

Slow Motion to Boredom
I am being a little over extreme here, however, all Wes Anderson movies lately, seem to over use slow motion scenes. I will admit each one was beautiful on its own visually, but as far as advancing or improving the story it is simply too much slow motion. It also seems to me, that slow motion is normally supposed to highlight an important moment, and the moments Wes selects to slow mo the Darjeeling Limited seems relatively unimportant.

Re-Used Characters
Another problem with Wes Anderson movies for me is these repeated characters. Always white, flawed, rich, longing for family or fatherly love and acceptance, quirky. It may also have something to do with this repeating cast of actors that appears in his movies (all of which i like). Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Jason Swartzman and many others. When you see the same actors playing similar, but not exactly the same, roles it really starts to become hard to accept them as anything but the characters you've seen them in past movies like Life Aquatic, Royal Tennenbaums ect.

The art direction, composition, color were all the best thing in this movie. By far worth seeing just for that. India was a great setting. It was vibrant, unique and refreshing.

Attention to Detail
I have always been impressed with the attention to detail in Wes Anderson's films. The oddball luggage and decals on trains were just two of hundreds of really interesting touches of details to look at in this movie.

I thought the performances were good. The art direction was superb. The story was subpar and predictably uninteresting. I laughed a few times, but not consistently. Therefore I give this movie a 7.5 out of 10. Just for rating reference, here are my other ratings on Wes Anderson films:
Life Aquatic: 6.5
Royal Tennebuams: 9
Bottle Rocket: 9

Rating 7.5 (out of 10)
10 being the best

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