The Darjeeling Limited


1h 31m 2007

Brief Synopsis

Three American brothers who have not spoken to each other in a year set off on a train voyage across India with a plan to find themselves and bond with each other--to become brothers again like they used to be. Their "spiritual quest," however, veers rapidly off-course (due to events involving over-

Film Details

Also Known As
Darjeeling Limited, À bord du Darjeeling Limited
MPAA Rating
Release Date
2007
Distribution Company
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Location
India

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m

Synopsis

Three American brothers who have not spoken to each other in a year set off on a train voyage across India with a plan to find themselves and bond with each other--to become brothers again like they used to be. Their "spiritual quest," however, veers rapidly off-course (due to events involving over-the-counter pain killers, Indian cough syrup, and pepper spray), and they eventually find themselves stranded alone in the middle of the desert with eleven suitcases, a printer, and a laminating machine. At this moment, a new, unplanned journey suddenly begins.

Crew

Raoul Amaar Abbas

Assistant

T.p. Abid

Assistant Art Director

Rajeev Acharya

Cashier

G. A. Aguilar

Stunt Coordinator

Tanvir Ahemad

Other

Ajay Ahire

Other

Javed Ahmed

Grip

Jubair Ahmed

Carpenter

Khatal Ahmed

Swing Gang

Rashid Ahmed

Carpenter

Azad Alam

Carpenter

M Muneer Alam

Carpenter

S M Ferozeuddin Alameer

Line Producer

Shariff Ali

Electrician

Harish Amin

Production Manager

Ayaz Amir

Accounting Assistant

Imtiaz Amir

Production Accountant

Eric Chase Anderson

Art Department

Wes Anderson

Screenplay

Wes Anderson

Producer

Robert M Andres

Key Grip

Imtiaz Ansari

Construction Manager

Scott Armstrong

Stunts

Diana Ascher

Accountant

Colleen Bachman

Post-Production Supervisor

Supriya Bagga

Casting Assistant

S R Bait

Construction

Shiva Shankar Bajpai

Art Department

William Ballou

Construction

Alice Bamford

Coproducer

Prakash Bandi

Carpenter

Ganesh Sitaram Bane

Construction

Jaclyn Bashoff

Assistant

Jaswinder Bedi

Loader

Ludwig Van Beethoven

Song

Richard Beggs

Sound Recordist

Driss Benyaklef

Production Supervisor

Lara Bhalla

Wardrobe Supervisor

Narendra Singh Bhati

Assistant

Saptarshi Bhattacharya

Casting Assistant

Inder Bhurji

Grip

Saakshi Biswas

Assistant

Dana Bloder

Film Lab

John Boccaccio

Assistant Camera

Cheryl Boyarsky

Assistant

Barry Braverman

Other

Philip Buccellato

Graphic Designer

Steven Caddie

Best Boy Grip

Milena Canonero

Costume Designer

Suzanne Caplan Merwanji

Set Decorator

Alison Carter

Assistant Editor

Joyoti Chaliha

Props

Nitin Chandrachud

Unit Manager

Suresh Chauhan

Driver

Dhruv Chawla

Other

Emilie Cherpitel

Assistant Director

Sunil Chhabra

Pilot

Sunil Chhabra

Property Master

Alok Chougule

Other

Ajay Chouhan

Wardrobe

Praveen Chouhan

Sign Writer

Sonal Chowdhary

On-Set Dresser

Laura Civiello

Dialogue Editor

Ryan Collison

Foley

Molly Cooper

Associate Producer

Roman Coppola

Unit Director

Roman Coppola

Producer

Roman Coppola

Screenplay

Blaise Corrigan

Stunts

Dyu D'cunha

Casting Assistant

Joseph Dassin

Song Performer

Ray Davies

Song

Jeremy Dawson

Coproducer

Andrew J. Day

Gaffer

Roopa De Choudhury

Production Consultant

Rishaad De Miranda

Props

Suzanna De Miranda

Art Department Coordinator

Claude Debussy

Song

Mulchand Dedhia

Lighting Technician

Mike Deighan

Song

Himmat Deol

Best Boy Grip

Lee Dichter

Sound Mixer

Alex Digerlando

Graphic Designer

Alex Digerlando

Researcher

Anja Dihrberg

Casting Consultant

Lori Keith Douglas

Unit Production Manager

Mark Driscoll

Visual Effects Producer

Kapil Dubey

Other

Jim Dunbar

Music Coordinator

Jim Dunlap

Accounting Assistant

Steve Eckelman

Assistant

Dan Edelstein

Adr Editor

Anand Kumar Ekbote

Assistant Camera

Mark W. Fay

Boom Operator

Dominic Fernades

Welder

Henrik Fett

Visual Effects Supervisor

David Fischer

Assistant Director

Jennifer Freed

Accountant

Mark Friedberg

Production Designer

Jennifer Furches

Script Supervisor

Rajesh Ganguly

Location Manager

Brian Gates

Assistant

Deepak Gawade

Location Coordinator

Joe Gawler

Colorist

Paul Gelinas

Models

Jacqueline Getty

Costume Designer

Baiju G Ghandat

Models

Sandeep E Gondhalekar

Stunts

Prakash Gurnani

Liaison

Narender Singh Hada

Pilot

Mohammed Hamid

Electrician

James Hamilton

Photography

Sandy Hamilton

Property Master

Fae Hammond

Hair

Fae Hammond

Makeup

Deepali Handa

Assistant Production Coordinator

Frances Hannon

Hair

Frances Hannon

Makeup

M. Mynule Haque

Carpenter

M Hasim

Office Runner

Harry Higgins

Rerecording

Sam Hoffman

Unit Production Manager

Sam Hoffman

Line Producer

Anadil Hossain

Coproducer

Simon Hutchings

Charge Scenic Painter

Saarrah Imtiaz

Accountant

Marc Jacobs

Costumes

Virendra Jadhav

Carpenter

Virendra Jadhav

Carpenter

Shankar Jaikishan

Music

Hasrat Jaipuri

Song

David Jefferys

Assistant

Kim Jennings

Art Director

Kim Jennings

Assistant Art Director

Tess Joseph

Location Casting

Tukaram R. Joshi

Electrician

Abbi Jutkowitz

Assistant Editor

Ajay Yaswant Kamble

Painter

Shankar R Kamble

Painter

Suresh N Kamble

Carpenter

Yashwant Kamble

Painter

Prasanna Karkhanis

Assistant Art Director

Uday Kartak

Welder

Bharat Katwa

Electrician

Neha Kaul

Assistant Director

Barbara Jean Kearney

Film Lab

Rich Keeshan

Assistant Production Coordinator

Nathan Kelly

Assistant

Menosau Kevichusa

Assistant Camera

Abudhlla Khan

Carpenter

Feroz Khan

Driver

Irfan Khan

Carpenter

Ustad Ali Akbar Khan

Music

Ustad Imrat Hussein Khan

Music

Tukaram K Khandge

Painter

Sunil Khedekar

Assistant

Otto Klemperer

Song Performer

Dan Korintus

Dialogue Editor

Mithva Krishen

Props Buyer

Mithva Krishen

On-Set Dresser

G Monic Kumar

Camera Assistant

Kishore Kumar

Song Performer

Pawan Kumar

Office Production Assistant

Virendra Kumar

Carpenter

Poornamrita Kumari

Costumes

Gopal Kumbawat

Painter

Achay Lal

Other

Allen Lau

Assistant Sound Editor

Mukesh Madhwani

Coordinator

Jess Magee

Assistant

Loknath Maharana

Carpenter

Steve Makowski

Office Assistant

Jagdish Mali

Electrician

Ravindra Malik

Coordinator

Andrew Massey

Puppeteer

Annie M Mathews

Production Supervisor

Rohan Mathur

Office Production Assistant

Eric Mcallister

Assistant Sound Editor

Matt Mclootan

Assistant Director

April Mcmorris

Film Lab

Babulal Meena

Props

Kanisha Mehta

Coordinator

Jill Meyers

Music

Simona Migliotti

Set Designer

Francesca Mirabella

Assistant

Sadrudin Mistry

Generator Operator

Sujata Mitra

Production Assistant

Liz Modena

Accounting Assistant

Taj Mohammad

Painter

Martha C. Pilcher Mohammed

Location Scout

Jyotirinda Moitra

Music

Kris Moran

Set Decorator

Urmilla Lal Motwani

Costume Designer

Urmilla Lal Motwani

Wardrobe Supervisor

Mhd Mumtaz

Carpenter

Shaikh Nabi

Swing Gang

Sahira Nair

Assistant Director

Thomas De Napoli

Assistant

Trilok Naulakha

Props

Rachel Nemec

Models

Film Details

Also Known As
Darjeeling Limited, À bord du Darjeeling Limited
MPAA Rating
Release Date
2007
Distribution Company
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Location
India

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m

Articles

The Darjeeling Limited (Criterion Edition) - Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited (The Criterion DVD Edition)


The Darjeeling Limited continues Wes Anderson's string of quirky movies about self-obsessed, upscale characters trying to relate to one another. Anderson is nothing if not consistent. Even his The Fantastic Mr. Fox with its stop-motion animals will not be confused with anybody else's work. Despite its exotic and colorful Indian setting, the participants in this whimsical travelogue remain a stack of incompatible personalities not appreciably different than the maladroit friends in Anderson's precocious initial outing Bottle Rocket.

The ambitious The Darjeeling Limited charts the progress of a dubious spiritual quest undertaken by a trio of brothers, Francis, Peter and Jack Whitman (Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and co-writer Jason Schwartzman). The maddeningly manipulative and presumptuous Francis lures his brothers onto an Indian train before revealing the unlikely mission he has chosen for them: to experience an epiphany that will bind them as brothers and bring meaning to their lives. With the aid of his fellow-traveling personal assistant Brendan (Wallace Wolodarsky), Francis micromanages every detail of the trip. Brendan has brought along a laminating machine to prepare the brothers' daily agendas. Francis orders food for Peter and confiscates Jack's passport "for his own good".

We can't imagine traveling partners less likely to make a personal discovery. Francis's entire head is bandaged from a recent suicide attempt; he looks like he should be at home recovering. The intense Jack phones 'round-the-world to check the message machine of his ex- girlfriend. When that effort is frustrated, he seduces the train's young hostess Rita (Amara Karan). The confused Peter hasn't told his pregnant wife about the trip and in fact has half-decided to divorce her. Both younger brothers resent Francis' cheerfully dictatorial attitude. His attempts to mandate spiritual enlightenment fail pathetically. Misreading Francis's complicated instructions, Peter and Jack fumble one "meaningful ritual" after another.

The men are charmed by the colorful train and its polite staff, but offering prayers at a few shrines doesn't enhance what is essentially ordinary tourist activity: Peter remarks that he likes India because it smells like spices. They buy illicit drugs and pepper spray, and one of Francis's expensive loafer shoes is stolen. People on a pilgrimage don't usually pack a dozen fancy leather bags, buy a deadly cobra snake on a whim, or break out in immature fistfights. The humorously sober train steward (Waris Ahluwalia) first confines the trio to their compartments, and eventually tosses them from the train.

The Whitman boys lug their designer bags around as if they were literal "emotional baggage". They buried their father a year ago under strained circumstances and haven't seen each other since. Francis resents the fact that Peter has appropriated many of the old man's personal items. Just when it looks as if their mission is a hopeless folly, fate intercedes to deliver their epiphany under tragic circumstances. In the relative calm that results, the boys decide to seek out their estranged mother Patricia (Angelica Huston), who has joined a convent in the mountains. Of course, they ignore her stated desire that they stay away.

It's not difficult to see why The Darjeeling Limited might confuse or displease some viewers. The Whitman brothers are not particularly likeable, and the domineering Francis would drive a saint to distraction. Peter and Jack are just as self-obsessed. When they try to follow Francis's lead, the movie plays like a low-key The Ritz Brothers Go to India. Anderson stylizes some action as if working with the Three Stooges, making them march in unison with their bags or dash in slow motion to catch a train. A typical shot displays three faces in a row, staring in confusion.

The color and excitement of the Indian train, the shrines and the market streets are a great boost to our enjoyment. But we resist the film's fitful series of false endings. In the middle of a funeral scene, Anderson yanks us back a year to the day of their father's funeral. Just when the film seems to have found a conclusion, the boys suddenly change plans and take off to see their mother. That semi-resolved episode leads to yet another meandering finish. Our interest in the characters has already tapered off; the movie seems far longer than its 91 minutes.

The Darjeeling Limited achieves a couple of inspired moments, as when Anderson interrupts his narrative to imagine a fantasy round-up of the film's characters riding on a magical train. A tardy businessman (a cameo-plus deadpan appearance by Bill Murray) is one of the fanciful passengers, along with Jack's ex-girlfriend (Natalie Portman), a missing viper and a mysterious killer tiger. But the film also suffers from some awkward choices. The rural Indians that treat the boys so well are afforded respect and dignity, but they remain idealized exotics. The movie spends more of its time contemplating the pricey consumer goods that the boys appear to worship: expensive shoes and belts, a sports car, designer sunglasses. The specific tragedy that leads to the Whitmans' partial redemption is a screenwriting cliché beneath the level of the rest of the picture. The boys earn a soulful sojourn for spiritually challenged tourists, but a relatively anonymous "native" does the actual dying. Peter says, "I lost mine" as if he were referring to a pet goldfish. Although these unlikely pilgrims can be irritating, The Darjeeling Limited is also diverting, funny and refreshingly unpredictable.

Criterion's Blu-ray of The Darjeeling Limited captures the essence of a theatrical screening. Director of photography Robert Yeoman and production designer Mark Friedberg dazzle us with the vibrant colors of India; even the train coaches are hand-painted with delightful little motifs. The traveling scenes were all shot on a real train in motion, adding to the immediacy of the experience. When Rita brings sweet lime refreshments to the train compartment, she accompanies them with a dot of paint to the forehead. We don't ask questions, we just submit to local custom.

Criterion disc producer Susan Arosteguy's extras expand on the film's sense of adventure. The most important feature is Wes Anderson's short subject Hotel Chevalier, which is identified as "part one" of the film. Jason Schwartzman's Jack receives an amorous surprise visit in Paris from his estranged girlfriend (Natalie Portman, seen in only one shot in the movie proper). Hotel Chevalier explains Jack's general state of disorientation and the odd final speech for his next novel.

Director Anderson and his co-writers Jason Schwartzman and Roman Coppola contribute a commentary, but a recommended starting point is Barry Braverman's behind-the-scenes documentary of the organized chaos of the filming. Anderson sets up many shots on crowded streets and busy train platforms. We discover that most of what we see was heavily designed, especially the elaborate train coach interiors. Bill Murray gamely puts up with delays and discomfort while filming his brief dash to catch a departing train.

For those not familiar with Wes Anderson's peculiar filmic world, a visual essay by Matt Zoller Seitz analyzes both the feature and its freestanding prologue. A taped conversation between director Anderson and the famous producer James Ivory enlightens us as to much of the wonderful music heard in the movie. The Rolling Stones find a place in the film's playlist, along with many cues lifted from the soundtracks of classics by Satyajit Ray and the Merchant-Ivory team. Video journal footage from the film set is provided by writer Roman Coppola and actor Waris Ahluwalia.

A couple of amusing deleted and extended scenes finish up the extras, along with audition footage, still galleries and an American Express Commercial in which director Anderson lampoons his image as a trendy filmmaker.

For more information about The Darjeeling Limited, visit The Criterion Collection. To order The Darjeeling Limited, go to TCM Shopping.

by Glenn Erickson
The Darjeeling Limited (Criterion Edition) - Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited (The Criterion Dvd Edition)

The Darjeeling Limited (Criterion Edition) - Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited (The Criterion DVD Edition)

The Darjeeling Limited continues Wes Anderson's string of quirky movies about self-obsessed, upscale characters trying to relate to one another. Anderson is nothing if not consistent. Even his The Fantastic Mr. Fox with its stop-motion animals will not be confused with anybody else's work. Despite its exotic and colorful Indian setting, the participants in this whimsical travelogue remain a stack of incompatible personalities not appreciably different than the maladroit friends in Anderson's precocious initial outing Bottle Rocket. The ambitious The Darjeeling Limited charts the progress of a dubious spiritual quest undertaken by a trio of brothers, Francis, Peter and Jack Whitman (Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and co-writer Jason Schwartzman). The maddeningly manipulative and presumptuous Francis lures his brothers onto an Indian train before revealing the unlikely mission he has chosen for them: to experience an epiphany that will bind them as brothers and bring meaning to their lives. With the aid of his fellow-traveling personal assistant Brendan (Wallace Wolodarsky), Francis micromanages every detail of the trip. Brendan has brought along a laminating machine to prepare the brothers' daily agendas. Francis orders food for Peter and confiscates Jack's passport "for his own good". We can't imagine traveling partners less likely to make a personal discovery. Francis's entire head is bandaged from a recent suicide attempt; he looks like he should be at home recovering. The intense Jack phones 'round-the-world to check the message machine of his ex- girlfriend. When that effort is frustrated, he seduces the train's young hostess Rita (Amara Karan). The confused Peter hasn't told his pregnant wife about the trip and in fact has half-decided to divorce her. Both younger brothers resent Francis' cheerfully dictatorial attitude. His attempts to mandate spiritual enlightenment fail pathetically. Misreading Francis's complicated instructions, Peter and Jack fumble one "meaningful ritual" after another. The men are charmed by the colorful train and its polite staff, but offering prayers at a few shrines doesn't enhance what is essentially ordinary tourist activity: Peter remarks that he likes India because it smells like spices. They buy illicit drugs and pepper spray, and one of Francis's expensive loafer shoes is stolen. People on a pilgrimage don't usually pack a dozen fancy leather bags, buy a deadly cobra snake on a whim, or break out in immature fistfights. The humorously sober train steward (Waris Ahluwalia) first confines the trio to their compartments, and eventually tosses them from the train. The Whitman boys lug their designer bags around as if they were literal "emotional baggage". They buried their father a year ago under strained circumstances and haven't seen each other since. Francis resents the fact that Peter has appropriated many of the old man's personal items. Just when it looks as if their mission is a hopeless folly, fate intercedes to deliver their epiphany under tragic circumstances. In the relative calm that results, the boys decide to seek out their estranged mother Patricia (Angelica Huston), who has joined a convent in the mountains. Of course, they ignore her stated desire that they stay away. It's not difficult to see why The Darjeeling Limited might confuse or displease some viewers. The Whitman brothers are not particularly likeable, and the domineering Francis would drive a saint to distraction. Peter and Jack are just as self-obsessed. When they try to follow Francis's lead, the movie plays like a low-key The Ritz Brothers Go to India. Anderson stylizes some action as if working with the Three Stooges, making them march in unison with their bags or dash in slow motion to catch a train. A typical shot displays three faces in a row, staring in confusion. The color and excitement of the Indian train, the shrines and the market streets are a great boost to our enjoyment. But we resist the film's fitful series of false endings. In the middle of a funeral scene, Anderson yanks us back a year to the day of their father's funeral. Just when the film seems to have found a conclusion, the boys suddenly change plans and take off to see their mother. That semi-resolved episode leads to yet another meandering finish. Our interest in the characters has already tapered off; the movie seems far longer than its 91 minutes. The Darjeeling Limited achieves a couple of inspired moments, as when Anderson interrupts his narrative to imagine a fantasy round-up of the film's characters riding on a magical train. A tardy businessman (a cameo-plus deadpan appearance by Bill Murray) is one of the fanciful passengers, along with Jack's ex-girlfriend (Natalie Portman), a missing viper and a mysterious killer tiger. But the film also suffers from some awkward choices. The rural Indians that treat the boys so well are afforded respect and dignity, but they remain idealized exotics. The movie spends more of its time contemplating the pricey consumer goods that the boys appear to worship: expensive shoes and belts, a sports car, designer sunglasses. The specific tragedy that leads to the Whitmans' partial redemption is a screenwriting cliché beneath the level of the rest of the picture. The boys earn a soulful sojourn for spiritually challenged tourists, but a relatively anonymous "native" does the actual dying. Peter says, "I lost mine" as if he were referring to a pet goldfish. Although these unlikely pilgrims can be irritating, The Darjeeling Limited is also diverting, funny and refreshingly unpredictable. Criterion's Blu-ray of The Darjeeling Limited captures the essence of a theatrical screening. Director of photography Robert Yeoman and production designer Mark Friedberg dazzle us with the vibrant colors of India; even the train coaches are hand-painted with delightful little motifs. The traveling scenes were all shot on a real train in motion, adding to the immediacy of the experience. When Rita brings sweet lime refreshments to the train compartment, she accompanies them with a dot of paint to the forehead. We don't ask questions, we just submit to local custom. Criterion disc producer Susan Arosteguy's extras expand on the film's sense of adventure. The most important feature is Wes Anderson's short subject Hotel Chevalier, which is identified as "part one" of the film. Jason Schwartzman's Jack receives an amorous surprise visit in Paris from his estranged girlfriend (Natalie Portman, seen in only one shot in the movie proper). Hotel Chevalier explains Jack's general state of disorientation and the odd final speech for his next novel. Director Anderson and his co-writers Jason Schwartzman and Roman Coppola contribute a commentary, but a recommended starting point is Barry Braverman's behind-the-scenes documentary of the organized chaos of the filming. Anderson sets up many shots on crowded streets and busy train platforms. We discover that most of what we see was heavily designed, especially the elaborate train coach interiors. Bill Murray gamely puts up with delays and discomfort while filming his brief dash to catch a departing train. For those not familiar with Wes Anderson's peculiar filmic world, a visual essay by Matt Zoller Seitz analyzes both the feature and its freestanding prologue. A taped conversation between director Anderson and the famous producer James Ivory enlightens us as to much of the wonderful music heard in the movie. The Rolling Stones find a place in the film's playlist, along with many cues lifted from the soundtracks of classics by Satyajit Ray and the Merchant-Ivory team. Video journal footage from the film set is provided by writer Roman Coppola and actor Waris Ahluwalia. A couple of amusing deleted and extended scenes finish up the extras, along with audition footage, still galleries and an American Express Commercial in which director Anderson lampoons his image as a trendy filmmaker. For more information about The Darjeeling Limited, visit The Criterion Collection. To order The Darjeeling Limited, go to TCM Shopping. by Glenn Erickson

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Winner of the Leoncino d'oro Award (Agiscuola) at the 2007 Venice International Film Festival.

Released in United States Fall September 29, 2007

Expanded Release in United States October 5, 2007

Released in United States on Video February 26, 2008

Released in United States 2007

Released in United States December 2007

Released in United States 2008

Shown at London Film Festival (Closing Night Gala) October 17-November 1, 2007.

Shown at New York Film Festival (Opening Night) September 28-October 14, 2007.

Shown at Venice International Film Festival (Competition) August 29-September 8, 2007.

Shown at Dubai International Film Festival (Cinema of the World, Dubai Gala Screening) December 9-16, 2007.

Shown at Rotterdam International Film Festival (Sturm und Drang) January 23-February 3, 2008.

Released in United States Fall September 29, 2007 (NY)

Expanded Release in United States October 5, 2007

Released in United States on Video February 26, 2008

Released in United States 2007 (Shown at London Film Festival (Closing Night Gala) October 17-November 1, 2007.)

Released in United States 2007 (Shown at New York Film Festival (Opening Night) September 28-October 14, 2007.)

Released in United States 2007 (Shown at Venice International Film Festival (Competition) August 29-September 8, 2007.)

Released in United States December 2007 (Shown at Dubai International Film Festival (Cinema of the World, Dubai Gala Screening) December 9-16, 2007.)

Released in United States 2008 (Shown at Rotterdam International Film Festival (Sturm und Drang) January 23-February 3, 2008.)