by: Wes Anderson
Brody, Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson, Anjelica
Huston, Amara Karan
Released by: Fox Searchlight
Short: Quirky characters, colorful scenery
and excellent luggage make this a lyrical,
sour and sweet
us at the luggage. The dozen or so valises in a matching
set by Marc Jacobs—orange leather festooned with jungle
creatures—are our first glimpse into this exotic and
quirky family journey.
It begins when Francis Whitman
(Owen Wilson) recruits his estranged brothers to go on a spiritual
trip through India. An ugly crash on his motorcycle has
left Francis bruised and bandaged, and brothers Peter
(Adrien Brody) and Jack (Jason Schwartzman) have inner
bruises of their own. None of these men has been the
same since the death of their father a year earlier.
Francis plans out a meticulously-timed
train itinerary, which surely you’ve
figured doesn’t go as planned, but that’s part of the journey, isn’t
it? Instead, the brothers trek through landscapes simultaneously golden and dusty,
and cities hustling and colorful, all while toting that envy-inducing luggage.
Each local person they encounter looks like a work of art. If you’ve got
an itch to travel, you will be scratching it the whole time.
are no grand moments of derring-do or oomph—the brothers
fall in lust, get stranded, attend a funeral. Even
a meeting with their long-lost mom (Anjelica Huston,
who’s become a nun in a remote Indian province)
has more fizzle than sizzle. But Anderson’s films
(including “Rushmore” and “The
Royal Tenenbaums”) are not about grand moments;
they’re intimate observations of loveable oddballs.
Chimerical storytelling and a lyrical pace make this
film affecting and timeless, kind of a reverie for today's hipsters who may not know the meaning of the word.
Note: A prologue short film, "Hotel Chevalier,"
can be downloaded for free via www.itunes.com.