The Darjeeling Limited, and the short companion film, Hotel Chevalier are movies with various issues regarding relationships. They make us reflect and ask ourselves, what is more important and must be given priority, the people I love or myself?
Hotel Chevalier discussed a lot about relationships and the difficulty it brings to each individual, if not taken cared of well enough. It’s about reconciliation and giving it another chance, that maybe if one is desperate enough to look for the other just to patch things up, maybe, just maybe, it could work. It’s like a desperate attempt for one to go and look for the other just to make things reasonable, and be like what it used to be all over again.
In The Darjeeling Limited, it’s all about a united journey. What becomes a planned spiritual and very relaxing journey turned out to be quite different? Here we can see clear the sibling relationship between the three brothers who are reuniting for the first time since their father’s funeral. The story somehow starts awkwardly in the way they all have their own secrets hidden from each other, and some issues trying to be kept silent or not talked about. An addition to that problem is that their mother, the one who was supposed to take care of them or handle their crisis as siblings, has gone into hiding in her convent, leaving the eldest taking full responsibility in fixing his family. Here we can expect characters who are suffering from the lack of affection, who doesn’t expect much anymore from their families. It’s about people settling to the present without even realizing that there are closures needed to be done and not being ignored.
Both films talk about reconnection, reunion, and reconciliation. They also showed that not all relationships, even the mother-to-siblings kind of relationship will not work if not every single one involved would cooperate, and in their case, especially the mother. This can be considered as ironic since the mother is usually the one who does her best to protect and give a sense of direction to her children, but instead she runs away from them, not really wanting to see them. Even in Hotel Chevalier we learn not to run away from our problems especially if it’s related with the people you hold dear, that every relationship must be taken seriously and mutually.
For me it’s better to have Hotel Chevalier as an epilogue to The Darjeeling Limited since it gives us a sense of what things to expect. We get to understand some lines being said and why, get to understand why Natalie Portman suddenly appeared in a scene, and get to know better the most mysterious character among the three siblings.
Here I get to see myself In the shoes of the character of the eldest because I myself am the eldest in the family. I must always see things In a better light, to understand that I’m not the only one in this world, and that family should never ever be taken for granted.