The Darjeeling Ltd

The Darjeeling Ltd (Wes Anderson, 2007) Jason Schwartman, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Bill Murray, Anjelica Huston
A year after their father's funeral, three brothers travel across India by train in an attempt to bond with each other. 

Most of this is a three-shot with Jason Schwartman on the left, Owen Wilson in the middle, and Adrien Brody on the right. It's written by the director as usual, but this time not with Owen Talentless Wilson, but with 27-year-old Schwartzman, and his cousin Roman Coppola, who is also the son of the most famous of the Coppolas.

Most of it is shot on a train set, tho there are divagations (I got the word from Ezra Pound) to the two funerals. There's one good bit, near the end, where there's a 'cutaway' shot of imaginary railway carriages one after the other with more-or-less portraits of various characters who are more or less in the movie - including the Bill Murray character who only appears in the very first scene, in which he has one line, and this one. He's on screen for less than one minute in total. Anjelica Huston doesn't have much more screen time, as the mother.

I said when writing about The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (Wes Anderson, 2004) that I didn't find Anderson risible because the scripts are not intrinsically funny and the actors make no attempt to do anything to 'sell' the lines. I'll now add that much of the humour depends on situations which are just not interesting to adults, being infantile, childish ... adolescent at best (as here). I have coined the term 'dramedy' as a portmanteau of drama and comedy to refer to a film which partakes of both. (OK, I may not be the first or only person ever to use the term, but I did think of it by myself.) But in the case of a film like these, it is necessary to coin a new term: 'coma' - for a film which is neither (tho it may think it is both).

Garry Gillard | reviews | New: 17 March, 2017 | Now: 26 December, 2021