Wednesday, May 07, 2008

A visit to दार्जीलिङ्ग

The art of film making...what is it? Is it the angle by which you shoot your movie? Is it the vague dialog and artsy one-liners that make the audience both laugh and at another moment, cry? Is it casting actors that your average film-goer cannot name, but instantly recognize as someone they've seen before?

One thing it is almost always not, is unpretentious. This makes it almost impossible not to recognize when a director is trying too hard and this is most definitely NOT the case when it comes to the films of Wes Anderson. From Bottle Rocket to Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums to The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, the man is an unfettered genius of the trade in this writers opinion having shown a knack for not only beautiful cinematography, but also for perfection in excellent script-writing (collaborative) and for an almost surgical precision in dialog delivery, making him, one of my top 5 favorite directors and the one of the very few who has yet to disappoint.
This brings me to Wes' latest movie, The Darjeeling Limited. Wes has opened a new can of worms with this movie having collaborated this time with Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman (yes, his mom is Adrian from the Rocky movies, AND her maiden name IS Coppola...yes, THOSE Coppola's...hence the writing partner). Darjeeling... is a departure from his previous films, which if you think about it, makes total sense as the previous movies one and all really didn't have anything in common other than flow, visuals and in some cases, returning casts.

The movie takes place primarily in India but is preempted by a somewhat bizarre yet in some ways sexy rendezvous of Schwartzman and Natalie Portman in a motel room in France in the short film Hotel Chevalier which is shown prior to Darjeeling. This is by no means nessasary to see for the story line, but it does help to sort of know what's going on with Schwartzman's character and an added bonus...there's naked Portman. Need I say more? OK, now I've devolved into a 14 year old. Jeez!
Moving on, Schwartzaman meets his brothers in India played by Owen Wilson and Adrien Brody...two other actors I like a lot (despite Wilson's urge to continue with his adolescent "frat boy" movies). The three embark on a journey based on Wilson's character's "Itinerary" and what ensues is a voyage, not of self-discovery as much as it is of brother-discovery. Sound boring? Grow up! This is Wes Anderson and you know what you're in for! I spent a paragraph already telling you. Difference is, this is in India and doesn't involve a gigantic ensemble cast.

I found myself at times very moved by the premise involved and the execution by which Anderson shows how little brothers can have in common, yet how close and united they can be when the chips are down. It's beautifully done this film, and makes for an emotional and entertaining anti-adventure with the breath-taking locations acting as an uncredited 4th main character.

Is this my favorite Anderson film? I can't say that it is, but it IS in my top 5...HA! See the movie. If you're a fan, you will DEFINITELY love it!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Matt!

I saw this movie in the theatre on a date when it first opened...

I loved the movie.

I would also recommend the RealDoll movie that came out.. I can't recall the name but it seems like something you would like..

2:39 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home