In The Darjeeling Limited three American brothers who have not spoken to one another in a year meet up to take a "˜spiritual journey' across India and bond again. However, with the influence of over-the-counter pain killers, pepper spray, and Indian cough syrup the guys find themselves stranded in the middle of a desert with eleven suitcases. It is at this point that the journey truly begins.
The film brings together a control freak in Francis (Owen Wilson) who has brought along a secretary to make sure that all receive the daily itineraries, a "˜run-away' in Peter (Adrian Brody) who is trying to outrun his wife's newly discovered pregnancy, and a wannabe writer in Jack (co-writer Jason Schwartzman) who is trying to put his most recent failed relationship in words in the form of a short story. This "˜relationship' is not revealed in the film itself, instead, Anderson has opted to cast Natalie Portman and offer it in a short, titled Hotel Chevalier, which you can access here (FREE but requires iTunes). Anderson strongly recommends that you watch this short before heading to the cinemas and I have to agree. The short helps to create Jack as a person and allows him to be understood in the context of both his brothers and the film.
Known mainly for this off-beat humor in films such as The Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Wes Anderson captures the audience again and creates a stellar film in The Darjeeling Limited. Unfortunately it isn't up to par with The Tenenbaums but it is still filled with smart humor, fun characters and great acting.
The humor that rests within the film is both catchy and ingenious. The three leading men work well together, feeding off each others lines providing not only hilarious dialogue, but great facial expressions and amazing character interaction that really helps make the film. Anderson in no way breaks new ground with this feature, with the minor exception of giving every moviegoer homework to do before seeing his film, but sticks to his strengths and makes a fun, enjoyable film.
If you like Anderson's previous work then you will enjoy this one, just don't expect anything of Tenenbaum caliber.