`Darjeeling' fails to pick up steam

Review C+

October 12, 2007|By Michael Sragow | Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic

An off-screen suicide attempt and an on-screen death betray the slightness of The Darjeeling Limited, an only intermittently amusing movie about three privileged, estranged brothers (Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman) who embark on a crackpot journey in search of spiritual enlightenment. Despite the reputation of the director and co-writer, Wes Anderson (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums), the movie is no lyrical farce but an upscale slapstick comedy-team movie. Remember the early-'60s run of Three Stooges features, such as The Three Stooges In Orbit? The Darjeeling Limited is just The Three Stooges in India with classier shticks and Louis Vuitton luggage (designed by Marc Jacobs).

The eye-gouging chaos brought on by pepper spray or a poisonous snake mingles with the existential pratfalls of identity crises in ways that are charming but ephemeral, and the movie takes a disastrous turn when a native boy dies so that the anti-heroes' souls can live.

The Darjeeling Limited (Fox Searchlight) Starring Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman. Directed by Wes Anderson. Rated R. Time 91 minutes.

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