Friday, December 14, 2007

The Darjeeling Limited Addendum

I just forgot a couple of points I wanted to make about The Darjeeling Limited. First of all, let me repeat I liked the film a lot more than my review makes it sound. It was enjoyable but my whole point of contention is that I'm not sure afterwards how much it goes beyond its surface. The three brother characters don't go very much beyond their surface quirks and the story is nothing that memorable. All that being said, I think the film goes a little deeper than a lot of critics want to give it credit for. I felt an emotional resonance with the film at the end. I know I'm a cold, distant person so maybe something someone sees as emotionally shallow carries more weight with me. It wasn't that strong but I'm willing to give Anderson a little more credit than some. My theory behind all this is the soundtrack. Anderson has been a master of using a popular music soundtrack to emphasize certain scenes. While I'm a sucker for this, some more academic film critics have raised issues with this. Michael Sicinski, who runs The Academic Hack, was a professor of mine at Binghamton University and in one of the classes I had with him, he raised this issue with Anderson in regards to The Royal Tenenbaums. He argued that Anderson substituted songs for real emotional development in scenes. I can see his point, but if there's one thing I have a weakness for, it's this type of thing (see: Goodfellas, Magnolia, Scorpio Rising). I'm still wrestling with this film and I really think it's a little more serious than a lot of reviews have stated. I happen to be a supporter of the auteur theory and there's nobody making films today that has all the traits of that as Wes Anderson. Maybe, I put too much into that.

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