The Darjeeling Limited was released on selected cinemas this past week in the US, and despite its lukewarm reception and box-office sales, even not having seen a trailer of the film or having heard Hotel Chevalier just a couple of days ago (more on this later), I can only assume that this film kicks ass. Not in a Tony Montano-kind of way, but the kind that would make Mahatma Gandhi wet himself. There, I said it.
For those who’s still wondering why I, a lowly and fashionably-bored bloke that I am, would even prematurely surmise the excellence of this film, I have two words for you: Wes Anderson. If there’s anybody who could pull off films with so much conviction and passion despite its glaring awkwardness and banality, please let me know and send me a copy of their film (please, by all means necessary), because Anderson puts his cinematic knowledge into good use, utilizing the plethora of film methods to convey a sense of enlightenment to its characters that permeates to the viewers as well.
He did this with The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou when the title character lay motionless after witnessing the leopard shark, the one who killed his partner and whom Zissou wanted to exact revenge upon, swam across his vessel. He drew tears, but his emotion is rich with understanding of the shark’s beauty that he decides to not pursuit it and leave things be. Of course, I just described the scene like feces in the gutter ripe for the picking. T’is always better to see it for yourself, I believe.
However, disregarding his crowning masterpiece Rushmore (which I haven’t seen yet – curse the gods!), Anderson painted a picture of a strained familial relationship whose ties have been resuscitated by their father – the cause of all their heartache. I’m talking about The Royal Tenenbaums, one of my favorite movies of all time and the best film of 2001. The film evokes laughter amidst the overlying pain and sadness that the film harbors, but it’s far from being a depressing film. It is, in a word, indescribable, just like any other orgiastic experience in the theaters.
Although my praises for Anderson is more than tangent, the greatest thing he’s done in his life so far is to have Natalie Portman bare her breasts in Hotel Chevalier. Although she technically did appear nude in Closer (by Mike Nichols), the scene didn’t appear in the final product, so that shit doesn’t count. My point being, can somebody direct us a link of this 14-minute ecstasy? Like the lunar eclipse, it may not happen again soon, so make the most of the chances, dagnabit!
For the record, I’m not a 1st class perv. But like Jack Black said in the Shallow Hall when asked about his friend’s man-tail, “I don’t want to see it, I NEED to see it!”
Post originally published on The Geek Revolution at October 13, 2007. Recovered using The Wayback Machine.