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A Review & Analysis The Darjeeling Limited

A Strange (and wholly incorrect) Perception of the East

I watched this movie some time ago (I suppose it was 2007!) and when I left the theater I was a little miffed.

I couldn't tell why, initially, but after I talked it over with my movie going partner (who hated the film and knew why she hated it) I came to understand why although this movie wreaks of the same pleasant quackery that Wes Anderson is known for, there just ends up being a little too absent minded a presentation of the experiences these three brothers parlay in India.

Indians in India behave extremely differently than the Indian in the film were depicted, primarily because the Indians in the film were English. And by English I mean from England. Their mannerisms and reactions were all coated with an obvious Western flavor that is simply light years away from what it is really like to travel or even visit India.

India is a country of pretense, above all. Women do not interact personally with men, especially in the lower classes, and certainly don't have spontaneous sex with random white strangers they meet on a train.

Something like this would necessitate an actually insane Indian woman that would very likely result in her eventual suicide (or murder).

I'm not focusing on the actual experiences these boys go through in their own realm in regards to their mother and father because for the most part I didn't find that very interesting. The movie kind of went on and on backtracking storylines and touched on little emotional bits here and there, but was inconclusive and somewhat uninteresting.

So I focus on the train (and the title is aptly named after it) and since their experiences on it play a significant role in the movie, it becomes apparent the the central criticism of the film is that Wes Anderson warped what Indians in India are really like to facilitate what he wanted his characters to experience.

Such disdain for an entire culture and the plight that culture suffers is both inconsiderate and immature, and though I enjoy Wes Anderson's movies in small quantities, this one certainly pointed out to me that artistic as he may be in his unique flavor of storytelling, he's not a very weathered or experienced man.
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