Twitter Reviews

11/15/07

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I absolutely adore Wes Anderson's films. He's right there at the top of my list of favorite directors. I've heard people complain that he doesn't change, but honestly that's one of the things I like about him. I know exactly what I'm going to get when I watch his films.

Amazing photography, with an attention to detail unlike no other, you get the feeling he scrutinizes every inch of the frame; and I appreciate that artistry. Along with that is his set design, it looks real and unreal at the same time, functional, but beautiful. His writing is very unique, every character has their own cadence, it's witty and comical, but doesn't beg for attention the way some writers do. And he always gets the best out of his cast, Luke and Owen Wilson never feel like real characters anywhere but his films. Bill Murray in
Rushmore, just might be my all time favorite piece of acting.

So there was no doubt in my mind that I was going to like The Darjeeling Limited. I was a little worried, because I didn't totally love The Life Aquatic, though it's grown on me in subsequent viewings, I thought just maybe Wes had grown a little too full of himself. In Darjeeling he's toned down the style just a little bit, it's obviously still his film, but he allows his actors just a smidgen more freedom. Another big thing, is that much more of the film takes place outdoors, he gets away from the colorful, quirky backgrounds, and lets a little more real life in.

I totally bought, Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, and Adrien Brody as brothers, each of them is great in their own way, the way they function together feels like they've been dealing with each other their whole lives. Their family is broken, but they're still family and they want to make it work. I love Schwartzman's line about "Would they be friends in real life, if they weren't brothers?" It is so true, especially for anybody that's had any kind of family drama. The train is it's own character and I was sad when they had to leave it; but the events that follow forces them to grow together.

Wes mixes comedy and drama perfectly, neither ever feels forced, they evolve naturally from each other. Because sometimes all you can do is laugh, when things get bad. Darjeeling is more immediately likable than The Life Aquatic, but isn't quite on the level with his first three films. I like that it shows some growth in his art, but it keeps with signature style, something I hope he never loses. I can't wait to see what he does next.

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