'The Darjeeling Limited': The Whimsical Tale of Three Brothers' Trek Across the Indian Subcontinent
"The Darjeeling Limited" (2007) is a whimsical and spirited comedy-drama starring Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman as Francis, Peter and Jack, three estranged brothers who reunite for a highly momentous journey across the Indian subcontinent.
Having recently survived a near-fatal motorcycle accident, the heavily-bandaged Francis yearns for reconciliation with his siblings—all three alienated from one another since their father's funeral a year earlier. He drafts a strict itinerary for their adventure, including visits to various Hindu temples across the countryside, yet his controlling nature soon exacerbates long-standing irritations. When animosities end in all-out hostility, all three are expelled from the train and left to plod by foot—before Francis divulges his true intention of reuniting with their mother, now a nun residing in a Himalayan convent.
Written and directed by cinematic stalwart Wes Anderson ("The Royal Tenenbaums", "The Grand Budapest Hotel"), "The Darjeeling Limited" is a wry and fanciful adventure story, replete with Anderson's trademark touches of eccentricity and playfulness. With an added layer of melancholy, including many observations on love, loss and regret, it's one of his more bittersweet formulations—often touching a surprising emotional nerve. With wonderful performances from all three leads alongside a full ensemble of dynamic characterizations, it's a uniquely resonant tale of both spiritual and self-discovery.
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