Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Sometimes Happy Semantics

The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
directed by Wes Anderson
rating: 3 out of 5 cravats
seen on the screen at Studio on the Square

I don't know if Wes smokes, but his protagonists do; cigarettes prop every post-Bottle Rocket epiphany, from Herman sharing coffee with Rosemary to the Whitman brothers drinking on the Bengal Lancer. In The Darjeeling Limited, many other chemicals are ingested besides, with no distinction made in characters between sobriety and the natural state. Of the many apologies said, none are for addiction. No one dresses like an idiot, either - no jumpsuits, no German accents - and if Anderson's India is as artificial as the Tenenbaum house, at least this world is consistent in opposing the stasis of the protagonists' minds (the house reinforced it). The brothers feel like adults, not kids, and the cabins on the train are not too big to be believable. If I now think of Anderson as a strange duck more than a great filmmaker, I'm happy to settle into something like appreciation for the virtues of a well-intentioned diversion taken at face value.

Or, if dear Owen likes it best, why not?