a victoria p


19 June 2008

Amanda Pumarejo on The Darjeeling Limited

Wes Anderson’s plots may be slow at some points, but his fans will all agree that he pays attention to detail. The Darjeeling Limited, Anderson’s latest film, has pans and shots that are as profound as staring into space can be, when you’re mind is crazily motivated and wandering to no end. His attention to detail is as if you were walking down the street, listening to a great song, in perfect weather and were to squint, and absorb your surroundings (both negative and positive) while talking it all in slowly in one long inhale.

I feel that people who criticize The Darjeeling Limited are looking for something not only all together different in film, but in life as well and exist at a different speed than myself. Anderson takes the time to stop, pause and absorb individual moments. I believe his films are not necessarily plot-strong, but are more focused on scenes and exchanges between characters and their surroundings. Actors shine in Anderson’s films in a very particular way; their talents become much more recognizable within a script customary to Anderson’s movies because they rely so much upon their exchanges, as oppose to the underling story, which is usually quite simple. A synopsis for The Darjeeling Limited can be contained in one line: Three brothers on a journey to find their runaway mother end up learning and understanding much more about each other than they would ever have expected. However, this film has proven to be much more than just that.

The Darjeeling Limited has effected my way of thinking more and more, with every time I see it. It helps me to appreciate the little things, the simpler things and the things that are often forgotten in the rat-race New York City can often be. Being able to appreciate the simpler things is calming and makes the absorption of an art form most valuable. After seeing The Darjeeling Limited for the first time I was motivated and inspired by how such simple uses of extreme color, long shots, and uncomplicated plots can emphasize a story line just as much, if not much more, than complicated plots, the perpetual use of CGI in movies nowadays along with all other aspects that overwhelmingly rely upon constantly topping what came before it. Anderson seems to be only modestly interested in shocking his audience and rather, more interested in simplicity and relying on the raw talent of his actors and the people he works with. I admire this and find it to be a classic approach to executing good cinema.

The transition between his shots is very smooth and witty. A notable example would be when the three main characters, the brothers, are riding in the back of a cab and one of them presses a business card to the window that separates the driver from the passengers. The business card quickly becomes focused in the shot. Instantly placed after in what would seem to be exactly as the human mind would naturally absorb a transition after seeing it just once, the shot cuts to a storefront. The storefront displays the same business logo that appears on the card, allowing the store to now become a tangible place that we as viewers are able to make a quick, simple connection with. Anderson has chosen to display this transition elegantly all while being very witty and nonchalant about it.

While Anderson relies on his actors greatly, the dialogue is not at all pretentious or over-thought. Rather, it is brief, concise and allows actions to emphasize a lot of the storyline’s main cynicisms in a very balanced way—we are by no means watching silent acting. There is no abundance of dialogue that could take away from the simplicity he offers with the chosen locations, shots, or angles, and how they were edited to precisely tell a simple journey of three brothers seeking their runaway mother.

Anderson spoon feeds us the details and while it might take a few viewings to catch all of the intricacy of his editing, it’s all still quite simple and to the point. The Darjeeling Limited has motivated me with my own work as screenwriter in finding new routes to display traditional plots, by cutting a lot of unnecessary dialog and relying more on a well-thought creative idea as oppose to a traditional, sometimes tedious approach to telling a story. I find that stories and dialogue are often cluttered and allow minimal room for a viewer to draw conclusions for themselves, but Anderson involves his viewers by leaving them creative room for their personal interpretation which is inspiring to me as a creative thinker.

No comments:

Get free html for hit counter .