I just read two critical essays on Wes Anderson’s new movie The Darjeeling Limited. I won’t bore you with a synopsis of the essays. You can check them out by clicking here and here.
Wes Anderson movies have been a guilty pleasure of mine. Not a lot of heads in the barrio get his humor. His movies remind me of having a privileged upper class white friend who is insightful and fun to hang around with one on one. But once you are around his friends, he acts differently and treats you as more of a token ‘ethnic” friend then a human being. Any person of color who has these friends knows what I’m talking about. I don't feel like I'm looking way too into this... something in Wes Anderson movies always made me feel a little uneasy and I think both these critics unveiled what I always felt but never could express.
I'll defend Wes Anderson just a bit, to be fair. In the movie The Royal Tenenbaums, one of the only characters with any dignity is the character Henry Sherman, played by Danny Glover. In the movie, Henry has depth. He is a good man, smart, supportive and decent. He is a friend and financial adviser to Etheline Tenebaum, the family’s matriarch, who has kept the family together throughout the years despite the family's many pitfalls. Both Henry and Etheline fall in love with each other and their love comes from their friendship. There is no fetishism or tokenism involved, just two old friends who fell in love.