“You’ve got bruises on your body”
As far as I’m concerned, The Darjeeling Limited exists as a feature-length film solely to give context to its companion short: The Hotel Chevalier. Instead of a prologue, or an epilogue, it’s the short story Jason Schwartzman’s character talks about writing in the movie, the story of the events that led him to India.
The genius of this conceit is that it’s not what actually happened (which was itself already fictional, and off-screen, and largely irrelevant). Instead it’s his story of it, the writing of a fictional character trying to survive by re-imagining a fictional heartbreak. The dialogue, the music, the lighting, the artificial ending — it’s all a blend of what actually happened with what he wished had happened. The result is art as a coping mechanism, one that’s beautiful, and dignified, and free from the sad embarrassments of reality. And it’s not even that,
it’s the film adaptation of that.
This… Woof. This is a level of meta-construction that makes me giggle and clap my hands excitedly. It’s also something I have done, god help me, and it just breaks my swollen little heart. Fair warning: this setup won’t work for everyone. Also fair warning: Natalie Portman gets naked, and is awesome. That girl can act in my shorts any day.
Oh yes, and the song. That song…