Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Movie review.

Still no photos, and I really want to let them guide the narrative. Soon, I promise!

Last night my sister came over. Chris made homemade pizza, and we all went to see The Darjeeling Ltd. at the theatre up the street.

I'm a fan of Wes Anderson movies, and though I'll always enjoy occupying Wes Andersonland for an hour or two (for instance: I loved The Life Aquatic, even though most people didn't), I was a bit disappointed in this one.

The filming and the scenery were beautiful, and Adrien Brody and Owen Wilson were wonderful (Adrien Brody more so, as Owen Wilson's film persona is pretty similar from film to film, but it worked here), but I thought it was a mistake to cast Jason Schwartzman in a role that he wrote, or alternatively to allow Jason Schwartzman to write his own role. He felt too pleased with himself, somehow...too self-consciously quirky. He gave himself all the kissing scenes, but not very much depth. "Jason Schwartzman" was always present, whereas I felt with Brody and even Wilson that they were truly vanished inside of their characters.

There's a dark event near what I thought was the end but turned out to be the latter half / third or so (one of my biggest pet peeves is faulty pacing, in books and film). I actually found myself getting angry at Anderson. I didn't necessarily feel that he was NOT trying to pay proper respect to this occurrence (I don't want to give it away), more like he wasn't trying hard enough. Having your three lead actors stroll in slow-mo against the background of some hip music during a child's funeral (oh, well, now you know) just seems wildly inappropriate. Would he have gotten away with that if it hadn't been an Indian child? If we had ever learned the child's name? I don't know.

He somewhat redeemed himself by dropping the preciousness upon showing the father's grief, so the bad taste was mostly swished away. But I wish he had done that in a few more places. Like I said, I love Wes Andersonland, but I feel like he'll never be a truly thoughtful filmmaker until he lets go of all the Marc Jacobs luggage, if you follow me.

They played the accompanying short film, Hotel Chevalier, in front of the movie, and I thought it was better than the movie but probably just because it was more condensed. But again, I have to say I felt like Natalie Portman's nude scene was there because it was a feather in Wes Anderson's beret to have Natalie Portman naked, and that she (uncharacteristically, it seems! I mean, she played a stripper in Closer without taking her clothes off, and that was MIKE NICHOLS) agreed to it because it's Wes Anderson and he's just so It don't you know dahling. Meh.

But it did make me yearn to visit Paris.

1 comment:

Edit Center Grads said...

I agree with you across the board. Funeral scene was lame.