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THE DARJEELING LIMITED

Director: WES ANDERSON

U.S.A. • 2007 • COLOUR • ANAMORPHIC • DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO • 104 MIN


CO-SCRIPTED WITH ROMAN COPPOLA AND JASON SCHWARTZMAN, AND FILMED IN A COUNTRY FAR FROM HOME, ‘THE DARJEELING LIMITED’ STILL BEARS THE INDELIBLE HALLMARKS OF A WES ANDERSON FILM.

Three American brothers, who have not spoken to each other since their father’s funeral a year ago, set off on a train voyage across India with a plan to find themselves and bond with each other. Architect of the plan is Francis (Owen Wilson), the eldest, who’s swathed in bandages after a near-death motorcycle wreck. Middle brother Peter (Adrien Brody) arrives weighed down by anxieties about having a child with a woman he always expected to divorce; and writer Jack (Jason Schwartzman), the baby of the family, is still so obsessed with his ex-girlfriend that he compulsively checks the messages on her answerphone.

Francis’ meticulous plan veers rapidly off course due to events involving over-the-counter painkillers, Indian cough syrup, pepper spray and a snake. Eventually they find themselves stranded alone in the desert with eleven suitcases, a printer and a laminating machine. At this moment, a new and unplanned journey begins.

As in ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’ and ‘The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou’, Wes Anderson offers astute observations on the complications of family ties, often funny and calamitous at the same time. In ‘The Darjeeling Limited’, the chaotic spirit of India adds a further, but highly appropriate, layer to the story. Best of all, the film carries all of this deceptively lightly, thanks to Anderson’s vibrant, distinctive aesthetic.—Sandra Hebron.

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