Monday, October 29, 2007

See This...

Plot is dead. Lately, I'm really into movies because of how they "feel" more then what happens in them. The Queen of this "feel" is Sophia Coppola. Nothing much happens in her movies (lonely people interact...that's about it...and there's nothing I relate to more then loneliness), but her movies have a very distinct mood and feel to them. Some people say they are boring; I say they are amazing.

Wes Anderson is another auteur whose films have a very distinct look and feel to them. This weekend I saw his latest, The Darjeeling Limited, and like Sophia's movies (yes, we're on a first name basis) the movie is not so much about what happens, but about mood and people and relationships and loneliness and three estranged (and lonely) brothers who take a spiritual journey across India. First, it looks incredible (as all Anderson's films do). My favorite thing about his movies is how they look. You can ALWAYS tell a Wes Anderson film within the first five minutes from the colors and the sets and the shots and the music. And second, his cast of actors (the Wilson brothers, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray who always give their best performances) never cease to make me laugh and break my heart.

The Darjeeling Limited, perhaps more then any of Anderson's other films, feels emotionally real (well, real in a crazy, colorful parallel universe). My friend Garney said, "I loved how this film felt more organic than Anderson's other films. The film was more of a shared experience with the characters, and not just an obvious trajectory of plot development. I think a lot of that is because of Roman Coppola's contribution." I totally agree. Roman Coppola, who co-wrote the film, is, like his sister, terrific with look and feel (rent his film CQ for evidence). Anderson benefits from his collaboration with Coppola, and The Darjeeling Limited is probably his best film after Rushmore (I also noticed Marc Jacobs, who sites Sophia Coppola as his muse, designed the luggage in the film (which is as much a character as the three brothers to some extent). What I wouldn't give to be a part of that friend group). The audience and the three brothers share the journey across India, their realization of the importance of family and their release of years of heavy emotional baggage. We've all been there (well, maybe not journeying across India, but the rest for sure) and when you leave, you feel just like the characters...better for the experience.

(I apologize for this cheezy/pretentious movie review. It's what came out)

1 comment:

Garney said...

Very well said. Especially the part where you quote me.