Wes Anderson fans certainly have had it lucky. With three of his four feature films having been released on DVD by the Criterion Collection, they’ve come to expect a certain level of quality and bonus materials on the home video releases of his films. That’s what makes Fox Home Entertainment’s release of his fifth and latest film, The Darjeeling Limited, such a mixed bag.
The Darjeeling Limited tracks the adventures of three brothers (Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson and Adrien Brody) as the travel across India by train to visit the various spiritual sites and try and reconnect as brothers. Despite all the carefully made plans falling apart the three still manage to come to a better understanding of themselves and each other. In addition to the main feature, Anderson’s short Hotel Chevalier, which fills in the backstory of Jason Schwartman’s character, has been included.
As I wrote in my review of the film when it played at the New York Film Festival last fall, Darjeeling Limited is sure to please Anderson’s fans with its quirky examination of the relationship between the tree brothers. The director’s penchant for bright and colorful design plays to the strengths of the Indian locales were the film was shot and the DVD’s transfer does a remarkable job bringing the film’s look to one’s television screen.
The disc also features a twenty-minute featurette, which walks us through the converted train used as the movie’s set, showing the various ingenious ways that they managed to maneuver a film crew through such tight quarters. There’s also raw footage of some of the cast rehearsing and exploring the various Indian locations used in the film.
But beyond that and the obligatory trailer, there are no other extras to speak of. And while this would be a fine enough presentation for most films, the lack of DVD extras that Anderson fans have become accustomed to, such as a commentary track, leaves one to wonder if perhaps there’s a second, better equipped edition somewhere in the future.