Some swear by Wes Anderson’s films and cinematic style, and for what it’s worth, Anderson does have a distinguished style. Yet I, for one, am no big fan. His films, and I have seen several of them, always seem to make an extra effort to feature something greater than it has to say, only to leave the viewer with the feeling that despite some good scenes and moments of pure intellectual masturbation (meant as a compliment…), there must be something bigger to this or else why bother and make a movie? Not that making a movie these days for reasons not-worthy good story-telling, is an exception; unfortunately the opposite is the rule. But Anderson at least seems to make the effort, which makes the uncanny results stand out even more than the typical greed-driven film releases of our times.
Back to The Darjeeling Limited – what works for this film is first and foremost its backdrop scenery of India – places, people and culture. Anderson manages to bring some of it to the screen in a convincible way and that’s a treat. Acting is good – within the limitations of the script, and, as mentioned earlier, there are some good moments in the film. But overall, despite the obvious conclusion of the brothers coming together, I was left with a “so what?!” feeling. The uneven pace made me want to see this film ending earlier than it did, despite being only a 90 min flick. Maybe it would have been much better off in a short 30 min format, like the short stories one of the film’s main character’s, Jack, played by Jason Schwartzman (as Anderson’s alter ego) pretends to write.