An emotional train ride with the critics

Yesterday, I was moaning over on the Yankee Racers about the initial reviews I had read. However, I responded to an e-mail this morning a bit differently, arguing that the negative reviews of TDL are rather formulaic and that all of Wes’ films have received mixed reviews. So what? However, good ol’ leeroy offered an even better perspective:

The negative review from Hollywood Reporter, and the positive review from Variety have been posted in the non-spoiler thread. Here’s a positive review from

“The performances are spot-on (Brody slips into this world effortlessly); the colors rich and lush; the soundtrack again cool and eclectic; the cinematic language deliberate and formal, despite Anderson filming on a moving train.”

Rolling Stone loves it:

“Confession: I love this movie. It’s the most assured, mature work yet from director Wes Anderson . . .it’s Brody who is the revelation. Touched by tragedy, his character doesn’t talk but asks “to hold this in for a while.” The Darjeeling Limited is more than one of the best movies of the year. It’s a movie you want to hold in.”

Another good review, from TimeOut London:

“Darjeeling’ is lighter on its feet than ‘The Life Aquatic’ because of its speedy pace and the relative simplicity of its camerawork . . . there’s less of the intricate background and layering of some of Anderson’s other films, particularly ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’, which delighted in the complexity of its biographies. Instead, much is left to the moment and the landscape: Anderson sucks in the sights, colours, oddities and details of India, from the way that tickets are checked on the train to visits to a shoe-shiner and a holy temple.”

And a report on the Darjeeling press conference:

“The press briefing for “Darjeeling” was lighthearted even though the film screened under a pall after Owen Wilson, one of the film’s three main stars, was hospitalized last week. Anderson began the briefing by telling the packed press room that Wilson was recovering fine and cracking jokes at home; soon, the rest of the cast began cracking their own jokes.

Bill Murray stole the show, telling people that his two minutes of screen time in “Darjeeling” was “the role he always wanted.”

“I fly to a fascinating place like India for a week, work one day and spend the rest of the time shopping and sightseeing, then I fly home, rest, relax and then fly to beautiful Venice for a week to spend my time eating and drinking and resting, interrupted by work for just one hour,” Murray joked. “Not bad, right?”

Anderson was asked whether he had plans to expand Murray’s cameo role in any possible sequel to the film. The director said there were no such plans, to which Murray pounded his fist on the table, feigning an angry “Damn it!”

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