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Thursday, December 18, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 26.0° F  Light Snow
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The Darjeeling Limited: Train wreck

I can honestly say I tried to climb aboard The Darjeeling Limited. I've enjoyed Wes Anderson's other films, even The Life Aquatic, which other critics thought was the first time Anderson's esthetic - combining whimsy and melancholy in sadly amusing tales about broken families - let him down. I think this is the first time. Set aboard a train that's crawling across India, The Darjeeling Limited combines whimsy and melancholy in a sadly amusing tale about three brothers - Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman - who've lost contact with one another since the death of their father. But Wilson's Francis, his head still bandaged up from a motorcycle accident that may have been a suicide attempt, has signed them up for a spiritual journey in a country known for spiritual journeys. I mean, it worked for the Beatles.

And it'll probably work for the brothers once they realize that it's the journey, not the destination. Or something like that. Along the way, they will engage in the kind of solipsistic conversations that have become Anderson's trademark. The difference this time is that the solipsistic conversations have no spark; they're not catching fire between the lines. And that leaves the characters looking mighty thin.

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