Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited

                  Wes Anderson masterfully directed his 2007 comedy drama The Darjeeling Limited, which he has co-written with Jason Schwartzman. It is a story of three utterly dissimilar brothers traveling throughout India in search of “spirituality”. They bond over their differences, their choices, their fights and ultimately develop a brotherly connection, understand the “spirituality” of life. Anderson’s treatment is not blatantly comic, but it has an overall sagacity of beauty in it. The use of the music, primarily of Satyajit Ray’s film scores is a tribute to the legend, and also some of Beethoven is utilized charmingly throughout the film.

                The Whitman trio is traveling in a train of experiences, realizations and a new beginning, The Darjeeling Limited. The elder brother, Francis (Owen Wilson) organizes the trip for a reunion with their mother, which is revealed midway through the film. Jack (Jason Schwartzman) and Peter (Adrien Brody) are the other two Whitman brothers. The opening sequence is of a businessman (Bill Murray) traveling in a taxi in the busy, robust roads of Jodhpur trying to catch a train. While running to board the leaving train, Peter surpasses him, just able to get on board. These initial scenes are shown in a way to rouse the audience’s attention; just when the tension is high, it shifts from the businessman and everyone understands who the principle characters are.

                Initially their distrust is visible; each one is keeping secrets from the other; with the progress of the journey they are enlightened, become siblings. They are thrown off the train for keeping a snake and violent behavior. Walking along a rural area, they rescue two children from a gushing stream; another loses his life hitting the rocks. The villagers, except for the father of the departed, appreciate their try. After recovering from the grief, he invites them to the boy’s funeral. The contrast between this one their father’s funeral is depicted beautifully; how all of them have changed over the years is evident. After meeting their mother, they realize their true being, accept life and become complete human beings

                The design of the interior of the train stuns the eyes, which is manly carved out of wood. Most of the scenes are visually rich, also a proof of how thoughtfully the story is prepared and the production executed. Their adventures are displayed with a touch of humane artistry, which helps the viewer realize the characters’ inner self. The brothers display a variety of emotions which are shown by striking montages. Ultimately, they find self-realization, learn to trust each other, and share one another’s burden. It shows there is no procedure for these, circumstances define us,we all have our own methods of finding the right path for ourselves. Anderson beautifully conceals philosophy in a layer of comedy.

Film Score : 84


Director:           Wes Anderson                

Screenplay:         Wes Anderson, Jason Schwartzman, Roman Coppola

Cinematography:     Robert Yeoman

Editing:            Andrew Weisblum

Production Design:  Mark Friedberg

Cast:               Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman, Amara Karan, Bill        Murray, Irrfan Khan

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