Several years back, only a small number of self-proclaimed elitists knew writer/director Wes Anderson (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatiic with Steve Zissou).
Now that networks have been producing mainstream shows (like Arrested Development) that introduce audiences to the same type of "punchline-less," intelligent humor that Anderson has perfected, his audience is bigger than ever — except with his new film The Darjeeling Limited, Anderson is about to throw his fans off balance for the good.
While still full of Anderson’s humor, The Darjeeling Limited is more serious, dramatic and emotional than anyone would expect. Darjeeling tells the story of the three Whitman brothers’ adventure to strengthen their friendship on a spiritual retreat in India after their father’s death. The journey that ensues doesn’t only take the brothers on an emotional ride, but every audience member, as well.
Anderson’s longtime friend and collaborator Owen Wilson plays Francis, the always-in-charge, bossy brother whose face is heavily bandaged nearly the entire film. Co-writer Jason Schwartzman plays Jack, the lonely, low self-esteemed brother who lives and dwells in painful memories from the past. And Adrian Brody plays Peter, the ashamed-of-his-family brother who wants to be anywhere else but with people he knows.
Each brother has something to hide from the others and something he tries to hide from himself. Though none of them exactly look like one another, these three are the best-matched estranged brothers that Anderson could’ve chosen.
When Darjeeling opens, you’re thrown into an India passenger train with hardly any set-up. Through the course of the film, you’ll learn the thought process and background of each individual character to the point where you’d think they were your brothers. Their friendship as brothers is thrown into the refiner’s fire as they are unexpectedly thrown into trials far superior to those planned on their itinerary.
Fox Searchlight is running a short "prequel" to the film titled Hotel Chevalier with select prints of The Darjeeling Limited, but you won’t know if it’s running with yours until you see it.
Since Hotel Chevalier is a perfectly fitting bookend to Anderson’s masterpiece, it’s recommended that you remedy the potential problem by downloading it for free on iTunes before attending.