Wes Anderson has made some of my favorite movies of all time in “Rushmore,” “The Royal Tenenbaums,” and “The Life Aquatic,” so I headed into “The Darjeeling Limited” with high expectations. Probably too high. I watched it over a week ago and was left with the feeling that it just wasn’t that good. It wasn’t that funny and I didn’t feel like it moved me in any way.
But I know that I felt slightly similar the first time I saw “The Life Aquatic,” and then grew to love it the more I watched it (yes, I own it and have seen it at least three or four times now, plus commentary), so last night I popped “TDL” in again and gave it a second chance.
The verdict? Better! Not great, not in the same league as the others, but pretty good. I don’t know that I’ll grow to love it but it definitely improved with the second viewing. It still isn’t very funny to me, but emotionally it is quite deeper than I originally felt. It is important to watch Part I of the movie, “The Hotel Chevalier,” which apparently was not shown in theaters for the most part (the dvd gives you the option). Honestly, I could watch an entire movie that takes place in that hotel, with Jason Schwartzman and Natalie Portman.
I think Wes Anderson fills his movies with such detail and subtly that it’s hard to grasp it all the first time around. I must admit, though, that having Bill Murray in any of his films gives it a huge head start, and “TDL” did not, except for a brief cameo.
Next up: “No Country for Old Men.” It’s coming in the mail today, as I slowly catch up on last year’s hits (and misses).