Bond of Brothers

February 11, 2008 at 2:43 PM | Posted in Film Reviews, Movies | Leave a comment

A laminated itinerary, pain killers, an escaped snake, savory snacks, and a pepper spray. These very well sum up the (mis)adventures of the Whitman brothers when they decide to embark on a spiritual journey in India aboard a passenger train called The Darjeeling Limited.

The film, The Darjeeling Limited, is an offbeat comedy which stars Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, and Jason Schwartzman. It tells about three brothers who have lost touch with each other for a year due to a tragic incident involving the death of their father. To make up for lost time and re-bond, the three brothers agree to travel through India on a train. While on the journey, they encounter several interesting characters including mishaps that test the bond of their brotherhood.

Owen Wilson plays Francis Whitman, the itinerary-wielding, decision-maker of the group. He leads his two brothers from village to village, temple to temple all the while communicating with a private detective he hired to look for their mother who is hiding somewhere in India. Wilson shines in this movie with his witty remarks and endearing character. Brody stars as Peter Whitman, a reluctant father whose wife is over six months on the way. Schwartzman is the heartbroken, wannabe-writer Jack Whitman who spends most of his time in a hotel room in Paris before he joins his two brothers in India. Special appearances by Natalie Portman (who appears in the prologue titled Hotel Chevalier), Anjelica Houston (who plays mother to the Whitman brothers), and Bill Murray (as the businessman on the train) make up this tale of “quiet comedy” with deadpan humor.

The Darjeeling Limited shows how love exists in a dysfunctional family. It is also interesting to note how the film presents two contrasting religions but blends them in a way that makes them seem like one (e.g., Peter making the sign of the cross while praying inside a Hindu temple). Special mention goes to the orange, almost unrecognizable Louis Vuitton luggage (or is that Marc Jacobs?). They somehow represent India with their bright orange color that suggest of saffron and other Indian spices.

The film is not for those looking for a hilarious, no-brainer movie to watch. In fact, it doesn’t try to be funny all the time. It focuses more on spirituality and how one can be resilient in times of hardships and difficulties. The Darjeeling Limited is directed by Wes Anderson, the same director of the movie, The Royal Tenenbaums.

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