Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Tane's Reviews: The Darjeeling Limited and American Gangster


Be warned. This film will make you want to go to India immediately.

Another low-key, kooky masterpiece from director Wes Anderson (The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic), The Darjeeling Limited is named after the train taking three emotionally damaged brothers on a journey through the subcontinent. In typical Anderson fashion, the film is filled with oddball characters, poignancy, and understated humour. Add in the gorgeous setting, and this is a delight.

Another warning. As well as getting you on a plane to India, you’ll be compelled go out and get the soundtrack. Lauren got it for me for Christmas, and we played it again and again and again. You’ll be humming ‘Le Champs Elysees’ for weeks.



Ridley Scott’s latest movie is a good, if not a classic, edition to the large catalogue of American crime films. Based on a true story, it’s essentially parallel but interlinked tales of two men (Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe) struggling to survive in criminal societies in New Jersey in the 1970s – the underworld of Harlem, and the local police.

Crowe, as the cop, and Washington, as the gangster, deliver performances as strong as you’d expect from two men who regularly feature in ‘Best Actor’ nominations. It’s a long but well-paced film that keeps your attention without fascinating you. This is because while Crowe’s character is likeable, he’s not that interesting, leaving Washington’s portrayal of a brilliant and brutal drug dealer as the only truly outstanding feature of American Gangster. It does not help that the script is a mixed bag, filled with many sharp lines and many silly ones (“f*** me like a cop, not a lawyer!”).

Well worth seeing, but no Godfather or Heat.


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