New film sends viewers on journey

Director Wes Anderson, with the help of three remarkably talented actors, managed to craft a film that is not only inspiring and funny, but is also one of the most original films of the year. Perhaps the most atypical attribute of “The Darjeeling Limited” was its prologue, “Hotel Chevalier,” a free short film released on iTunes last month starring Natalie Portman and the films’ co-writer Jason Schwartzman. The prologue will accompany the movie when it is released in Fort Worth theaters this Friday.

The 13-minute long prequel is set in Paris where Portman and Schwartzman, who were once a couple, meet for a weekend affair.

While Portman appears in “The Darjeeling Limited” for only a brief second, her role in “Hotel Chevalier” gives the viewer a little back-story that gives the plot of the feature more depth.

Both the short film and the feature are self-contained and can be viewed separately despite the close relation of the two – so don’t worry about watching one without the other.

The feature starts off when three brothers played by Schwartzman, Adrien Brody and Owen Wilson, who haven’t seen each other in a year, meet for a spiritual journey on an intensely blue train in India called The Darjeeling Limited.

In quintessential Wes Anderson style, the character development starts almost immediately, both visually and through dialogue, as Wilson, the eldest of the brothers, appears on screen with a mess of bandages on his face as he feverishly explains to his younger siblings why he has summoned them to the train.

The viewer quickly starts to realize that Wilson’s character is extremely, hilariously presumptuous when dealing with his brothers.

The middle brother, played by Brody, is a low-key outcast with an amazing pair of sunglasses, and Schwartzman plays the disregarded youngest brother with an awkwardly charming mustache.

Together the three actors create a believable family dynamic that is touching and humorous.

Unlike Anderson’s last film, “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou,” the stories and personalities behind the characters are extremely developed and really get the viewer invested in their lives.

In addition to “The Darjeeling Limited” being more personal and having better character development than Anderson’s previous films, the setting also took the film to another level as the entire movie, with the exception of one flashback scene, was shot in India.

It’s safe to say the movie is as good if not better than Anderson’s previous four films.

As you watch these three brothers on their spiritual journey, you’re bound to find yourself on one also. “The Darjeeling Limited” is truly a beautiful adventure.