The Darjeeling Limited

  • Review Date: February 25, 2008
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2007

Common Sense Media says

Wes Anderson tackles mature brotherly baggage.
  • Review Date: February 25, 2008
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2007

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The brothers take a life-changing trip to India, but they're also self-absorbed, materialistic prescription-drug junkies with serious family issues.

Violence

Peter and Francis wrestle on the floor until mace is sprayed in their eyes. There's a disturbing sequence in which the brothers try to save three Indian boys who are drowning. A boy dies, and Peter is hurt (he has blood on his face and clothes). As per Indian tradition, the boy is cremated by a funeral fire. Brief mention of suicide; several mentions of father's death.

Sex

Jack and a train attendant kiss and eventually have sex (off camera). The brothers discuss whether Jack has just had sex with the woman.

Language

Some use of "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," etc. Also the use of the insensitive phrase "Indian giving."

Consumerism

Many, many scenes involving monogrammed Louis Vuitton luggage designed by Marc Jacobs.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The brothers all take a lot of prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines and drink cocktails on the train. They also get in trouble for smoking in their train compartment.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that, like most Wes Anderson films, this quirky comedy deals with emotional baggage and relationships, which will probably bore younger teens (despite the presence of Wedding Crashers star Owen Wilson). The three protagonist brothers drink and share a love of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. There's a scene of peril when they try to save three young Indian boys from drowning. A dead child is shown, as is his Indian funeral fire. Suicide is briefly mentioned, and the death of a father is discussed on several occasions. There's one sex scene, although except for some passionate kissing, it's off screen. Language includes "f--k" and "s--t" but isn't incessant. Parents should also know that a short called Hotel Chevalier comes with the DVD and it contains more nudity.

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Kids say

What's the story?

Writer-director Wes Anderson is a master at capturing eccentricities and emotional baggage. His latest characters, co-created by film-industry cousins Jason Schwartzman and Roman Coppola, are three brothers who've reunited after a year of not speaking to take a life-changing trip through India on a luxury train. The brothers are Francis (Owen Wilson), who planned the journey and shows up with a heavily bandaged face; Peter (Adrien Brody), who left his seven-months-pregnant wife for the trip; and Jack (Schwartzman), a short-story writer with a thing for the train's pretty first-class attendant. Accompanying the trio is a massive amount of numbered, monogrammed Louis Vuitton luggage -- the brand signifies a large fortune, and the monogram belongs to their dead father. The train ride is just the first act. After they're thrown off for a laundry list of transgressions -- including bedding an on-duty employee, smoking in their compartment, and smuggling a poisonous snake on board -- the brothers end up in a small Indian village where they witness a tragic incident that changes their outlook ... and the tone of the film.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Anderson's tale of slightly twisted brothers is worth seeing, mostly for the performances and the landscapes, but it also lacks a cohesiveness. Part upscale family road trip and part spiritual journey, it's funny and poignant -- but far from perfect.

The extravagant, ever-present luggage -- as any 11th-grade English student could assess -- is the literal representation of years of dysfunction. The brothers, particularly Francis, keep mentioning "how we were raised," but beyond the fact that their father is dead and their mother (Anjelica Huston) is prone to running away (she's a nun near the Himalayas), just how they were brought up to become so idiosyncratic remains a mystery. Once the brothers are kicked off the train the film segues into mood-capturing cinematography, and this portion of the film is also remarkable because there's very little dialogue. There's also a fascinating, almost silent performance by revelatory Indian actor Irfan Khan as a grieving father.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether Wes Anderson's movies are funny, sad, or both. Why? How is his style of comedy different from other filmmakers'? How is this movie similar to and different from his other films? Some critics have complained that the film's second act, which takes place in a small Indian village, is offensive. What do you think about that part of the film? Is it appropriate, or is its tragedy out of place with the rest of the film?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 5, 2007
DVD release date:February 25, 2008
Cast:Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson
Director:Wes Anderson
Studio:Fox Searchlight
Genre:Comedy
Run time:91 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language.

This review of The Darjeeling Limited was written by

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  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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Teen, 13 years old Written bybubbleboy April 11, 2009
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

What the heck was that?

Now, don't start trying to play the "you just didn't get it" card with me, for all of the metaphors registered perfectly well in my mind. No, my problem lies with the so-called story, that leaps all over the place and provides random flashbacks without a shred of explanation. If I can remember right, there are three brothers who board a train to India (but not before a strange and completely unnecessary cameo from Bill Murray) to find their mother, but only one of them knows that. The rest think that it's a bonding trip. Then, an Indian kid drowns, there's some weird subplot about their father's car, they dance around with feathers, their mom becomes a nun and there's some killer tiger on the loose. Strange, isn't it? I don't mind strange (see my review of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"), but this film just left me confused and kind of dazed. Not awful, just kind of pointless. Keep in mind some rather glorified drug use, mild language, and an implied sex scene.

What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byLoveOwenWilson September 11, 2010
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

teens

It was a spiritual life-changingmovie by plan but was more of a blend of crazy brothers finding some wacko path to God knows what kinda stuff!! but as a pass-the-time thing, it was fun...plus looking at Owen Wilson gives it plus points!!

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great role models
Adult Written byFerderig April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

The Darjeeling is limited

The fifth film of Wes Anderson, The Darjeeling Limited, recycles many of his commonly found woven themes - loss, family issues, longing, finding oneself, searching for answers, etc. Though it reflects strongly the melancholy artistic values we have come to expect from Mr. Anderson, I found The Darjeeling Limited to be the weakest of his efforts.

All of the characters are shadows of performances previously seen in past Anderson films, especially, Owen Wilson's character which is simply an extension of his Bottle Rocket performance. Though it is refreshing to see him outside of his weak comedic performances, one has to wonder if Owen Wilson has any other dimensions as an actor. One can appreciate Bill Murray’s role as the traveling business man which has been rumored to be a father figure to the three brothers. Adrian Brody’s performance was exceptional and his transition into “Wes World” was seamless.

The plot barely supports the film and this may be where Wes Anderson excels as a director. Like a train the film moves along on a preconceived track and once it leaves the confines of its rails the story also derails. This does not mean the story is weak but is subject to the whims and chaos that one would find themselves if subjected to a foreign country. The rescuing and failure to save three boys in a river is significant as it reflects the relationship of the brother’s. The first half of the film we see each brother conspiring against each other, never trusting, and never working together as three. It is always two against one. Only the acceptance of the dead boy’s family, the isolation of India and the rejection of their mother are the brothers able to unite, become one and find a new train so the story can continue. They catch their next ride by leaving their luggage and past behind them.

The Darjeeling Limited tests the audience. The film really requires you to abandon all preconceived notions of traditional story. Films like these should be applauded and it is refreshing to see an artistic voice like Anderson’s survive.

For fans of Wes Anderson the subtle nuances they have come to expect and enjoy will more than likely over compensate for the flaws found in this film. I mentioned earlier this film is weakest of Anderson’s work and I stand by that. With that being said I still enjoyed The Darjeeling Limited. If “Wes World” is not your cup of sweet lime you are welcome to get off at the next stop.

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