“The Darjeeling Limited” in review

Wes Anderson’s 2007 film to show in Woodland Theater this weekend

“The Darjeeling Limited” in review


Story by Lauren French, Copy Editor

Simply said, “The Darjeeling Limited” is a pilgrimage story.

Three brothers, estranged since their father’s death a year prior, board a train in India to embark on a spiritual journey that can’t quite seem to go smoothly.

Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman play brothers Francis, Peter and Jack, respectively.

All three brothers carry personal baggage in the aftermath of their father’s death, ranging from attempted suicide to looming fatherhood. The dysfunctional trio visits some of India’s most spiritual temples in an attempt to shed their baggage and bond as brothers. This doesn’t come easily, however, as catastrophes spurred by the brothers’ distrust for one another get in the way.

If you haven’t yet seen a Wes Anderson film, I recommend you start with this one.

Released in 2007, “The Darjeeling Limited” follows Anderson’s unique, signature directive style.  Interesting camera shots, consistent color palettes and vibrant characters all take center stage.

The plotline is easy to follow, an aspect of this Anderson film that differs from some of his others. “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” for example, moves at a fast pace that punishes viewers who are easily distracted while watching movies.

“The Darjeeling Limited” boasts a more leisurely plot, centered on spiritual healing and a disjointed journey.

This is not to say the film is boring – on the contrary, one of my favorite parts about watching this Anderson movie was never knowing what would happen next.

Some of my friends don’t like to watch movies with me because I can usually guess the plot before it happens, but “The Darjeeling Limited” never went the exact direction I thought it would.

While the plotline was erratic and unpredictable, the symbolism was not.  The overall imagery and message behind the plot are not hard to pick up, which is one of the reasons I recommend this Anderson movie to first-time watchers.

Even though the symbolism is overt, this did not make it cliche in any negative sense.  I liked knowing Anderson’s intent behind the film – I find movies with no decipherable meaning frustrating.

“The Darjeeling Limited” will play this weekend at 7 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Davies Center’s Woodland Theater.