Generally, I enjoyed the two films, both together and as individual films. I enjoyed Hotel Chevalier ultimately because of two things: I love Natalie Portman and I like the idea of the story. Two ex-lovers possibly trying to make it right or not trying at all. From my point of view, it was amusing. Most especially the lines exchanged between the two. It was obvious how one was hurting, and one was possibly really okay or at least, trying to be. I don’t think the dialogue between the two was supposed to be funny but I found myself completely entertained by it. The way Jack replied to Natalie Portman’s character was almost comedic.
Questions raised during class were: Is the film (The Darjeeling Limited) stronger with the short film (Hotel Chevalier) or not? Was it even necessary for Hotel Chevalier to be shown? Honestly, with or without Hotel Chevalier, The Darjeeling Limited could have easily stood on its own. However, I think the impact it would have on its audience would have been completely different. I agreed and liked that Hotel Chevalier was shown to us before the film. The effect of both films would not have been as strong if done otherwise. After seeing the short film, because of how it was written and how it was directed, I was just so curious about what exactly was going on. In a way, it hypes us up for the longer film. The Darjeeling Limited may not have mentioned anything about Hotel Chevalier, except for a couple of moments when Jack would mention his ex-girlfriend but I think that the fact that I felt completely intrigued and happy that I saw the connection between the two films, especially towards the end of The Darjeeling Limited, means that it was very effective.
In The Darjeeling Limited, I liked how the film began and ended with the same kind of scene. It begin with a man chasing the train alone (alongside someone who else who doesn’t make it like he does), and in the end, chasing the train with his brothers, again making it- but only doing so by letting go of their material belongings. I guess it was obvious why it was called, The Darjeeling Limited, though the title has nothing to do with the prevalent themes of the movie: Brotherhood. Family. Trust. I say that the movie had very good closure. In a way, you could say that the particular scene was a subtle attempt on being cheesy but I cannot say I am complaining about it. It was actually my favorite scene in the movie because it gave me such a feel-good feeling afterwards.
I enjoyed how different the brothers were from each other. It reminded me about my siblings and myself. We have our differences, yes, but in the end, the importance of family comes above all else. As people say, families, particularly your siblings, should be the friends you end up stuck with for life. I found it ironic that during the time of their father’s funeral, their family was not complete. Their mother did not attend and afterwards, the brothers ended up not talking for a year. Usually, at a time as grave as this, families come together. This so-called “spiritual quest” organized by Owen Wilson’s character, as the oldest brother, a year later was an interesting adventure for them, I think. It was evident in the film how their characters grow individually and how their relationship, as brothers, develop as well. To be honest, at the very beginning, I would not have known that they were brothers unless told explicitly. I liked that, in the end, that changed drastically and their bond as a brotherhood was more evident than ever. Cheesy. (In a good way.)