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'Darjeeling Limited' Puts Wes Anderson Back On Track

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I've been a pretty big fan of Wes Anderson's since I first saw Rushmore almost 10 years ago. A few years after that he then released The Royal Tenenbaums, which was accepted by a much larger, mainstream audience, propelling him to the mega-director he is today. But after Tenenbaums came The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, which to many people felt like a disappointment of sorts, even with another huge cast of amazing actors play colorful characters.

I know that personally, I was worried about seeing The Darjeeling Limited. The story is about three brothers, played by Owen Wilson, Adrian Brody, and Jason Schwartzman, who go off on a train voyage through India to try and re-establish their relatinship. But their journey takes an unexpected turn (thanks to over-the-counter pain killers, Indian cough syrup, and pepper spray) and they end up alone and in the middle of the desert. That sounds like a really great story, but so did The Life Aquatic, and that was a more than bittersweet experience.

Thankfully, Darjeeling is not like it's predecessors, and in the end is quite an amazing movie. The story is much more solid this time, possibly because of writing help from Jason Schwartzman and Roman Coppola. The character's are definitely as quirky as ever, as is the plot, but towards the end the movie takes quite and emotional turn that I certainly didn't expect. From that part alone you can see that Anderson has definitely grown as a writer and a director.

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The actors themselves did a great job as well. I thought both Adrian Brody and Jason Schwartzman's performances were really great, but unfortunately, it felt like Owen Wilson was playing Eli Cash from Royal Tenenbaums all over again. I'm not sure if that was his fault, or the fault of the writers.

The other really amazing part of this movie, was the setting. Wes Anderson could not have glamorized anymore, it wouldn't be possible. As the friend I saw it with said, it was like "eye crack". The colors were absolutely brilliant, the scenery was beautiful, and you couldn't wish for a better place to get stuck in the middle of.

So if you were a fan of Anderson's Rushmore or Royal Tenenbaums, I don't think you'll be disappointed. It's kind of like when you go away to college, and then you come home for the summer. It still feels comfortable, but not quite how it used to. But that doesn't stop you from enjoying it all the same.

The movie comes out next Friday, September 28th.