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September 28, 2007

The Darjeeling Limited

Darjeeling

Oh-so-precious-trust-fund director Wes Anderson ("The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou") doesn’t so much make movies as he assembles a cast to work from slapdash "meta" scripts that result in self-congratulatory hodgepodges of cinematic expression. Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman and Adrien Brody have the dubious honor of playing three estranged (and implausible) brothers that go on a soul-searching bitch fest across India with an unexplained number of goofy matching suitcases. The male bonding occurs largely during a sleeper-car train ride aboard the "Darjeeling Limited" where the brothers’ individual quirks come into high relief. The youngest brother Francis (Wilson) wears a fresh bandage on his head and face to cover self-inflicted wounds he earned in a motorcycle crash. Peter (Brody) struggles with the fact of his absent wife’s unwanted pregnancy, while eldest brother Jack (Schwartzman) quells his obsession over a former girlfriend by indulging in spontaneous sex with a train stewardess (Amara Karan). The film’s over-pronounced theme of "healing" is put through so many artificial plot points that there isn’t any narrative oxygen to support it. "The Darjeeling Limited" is a dud where even its attempts at slapstick comedy fall flat.

Rated R, 91 mins. (C-) (Two Stars)

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