The luggage! The luggage! Its all about the baggage.
Wes Anderson (Rushmore, Bottle Rocket, The Royal Tennenbaums) once again delves into family dysfunction, as the three wealthy, but estranged, Whitman brothers – who havent seen each other in the year since their fathers funeral – journey through rural India by train with 11 count em stunning, custom-made, animal motif Louis Vuitton suitcases.
Except for a shared penchant for substance abuse, they couldnt be more different. The eldest, Francis (Owen Wilson), his head in bandages as the result of a motorcycle accident, is the organizer, distributing laminated cards delineating each days spiritual activities. Were here to find ourselves and bond with each other, he decrees.
Middle sibling Peter (Adrien Brody) has a pregnant wife, while the youngest, Jack (Jason Schwartzman), is still so obsessed with his ex that he eavesdrops on her answering machine. But that doesnt stop him from having a liaison with their compliant compartment attendant (Amara Karan), infuriating the prim steward (Waris Ahluwalia).
When they finally track down their self-absorbed mother (Anjelica Huston) in an isolated Himalayan convent, she gently but firmly – tells them to quit obsessing about the past. Forgiveness would mean traveling lighter, leaving a lot of emotional baggage behind.
Meticulously stylized and nimbly filmed on a retrofitted Indian train, its a spicy, lyrical cinematic feast, slyly written by Anderson, Schwartzman (Talia Shires son) and Roman Coppola (Franciss son) with a terrific score and cameos by Ifan Khan and Bill Murray.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, The Darjeeling Limited is a poignant, peripatetic 8. Access the titular website for Andersons short, Hotel Chevalier, featuring Jason Schwartzmans character having a rendezvous in Paris with his ex (Natalie Portman), which will undoubtedly be part of the DVD.