“Darjeeling Limited” Is, Well, Limited


Wes Anderson’s new flick “The Darjeeling Limited,” which kicks off the New York Film Festival tomorrow, September 28, and which I saw at one of the festival’s press screenings, is a colorful trek onboard a train clattering through India. In fact, it’s a short course in Train Cinema, referencing everything from “Twentieth Century” to “A Hard Day’s Night.” The plot: three brothers, who haven’t spoken since their father’s funeral a year earlier, decide to re-connect; eventually, they visit their mother, now a nun in a Himalayan convent and decidedly unhappy to see them. (When you take the trouble to take the veil halfway around the world, wouldn’t you take for granted that your kids would take the hint?) The brothers are played by Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman, and Owen Wilson (all three are pictured here). Schwartzman co-wrote the script with Anderson and Roman Coppola.

Schwartzman and Angelica Huston, who portrays the mother, are the only main characters who, for me, were more human than self-consciously eccentric Andersonian constructs. As with Anderson’s “The Royal Tennenbaums,” “Darjeeling” has a terrific soundtrack. But I much prefer Andersonville in measured doses, which is why the short film shown with “Darjeeling,” a Parisian trifle called “Hotel Chevalier,” which is available on iTunes, gave me greater pleasure.

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