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building visual irony

October 22, 2013


With Wes Anderson’s new book  just out and a new film coming in March, I thought I’d better catch up with one I missed – The Darjeeling Limited – and I was tickled pink!  The use of color and pattern doesn’t so much move the plot as run swiftly, and (since this is Wes Anderson), ironically, along side it. With his typical deadpan style, a gentle story is told with point-blank, center-focus, and flat delivery. But all the action takes place in exotic locales, in crowded vehicles, at breakneck pace. And all along the way, the straight-faced, impassive delivery of lines is offset by the characters’ colorful journey – across the length of Rajasthan, India; and their gradual, interior, spiritual transformations – coming to terms with their pasts & futures – are countered by vivid, exterior & physical imagery.
Whether or not the symbolic importance of key props and actions penetrates your comprehension, you’ll have to be blind not to be transported by the visual payloads … of The Darjeeling Limited.  (And a set of luggage by Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton won’t hurt on your travels!)
Additional images collected here.

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