Sunday, October 7, 2007

Dinner And A Movie: Samurai & The Darjeeling Limited

149 N. 6th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 302-6232

Roxie had suggested a pre-movie visit to Miyako (not the first time she had suggested the Williamsburg Korean-Japanese joint), but we found it closed upon our arrival and our hopes of bi bim bap dashed. So, we wandered down North 6th and into Samurai.

Without much time to spare and all seats filled, Roxie and I settled in at the empty sushi bar, ordered ourselves some food and quickly chose a bottle of sake. Perhaps for keeping them company (or perhaps this is customary at Samurai, I'd never previously been), the sushi chefs offered us a small plate of marinated seafood, which reminded me quite a bit of the pulpo gallego (substitute seaweed for potatoes) found all over Spain at tapas bars both big and small. Mmmm, nostalgia is tasty. The sushi, too, was tasty, certainly not of excessively large cuts as is so often the case, and paired with nicely, subtly sweetened rice.

After grabbing a box of Pocky to go (figuring Mint needed something for movie munchies), we met the aforementioned Mint in Union Square just in time to grab icees and seats for The Darjeeling Limited.

Wes Anderson's latest film has all the look and feel of, well, a Wes Anderson film, methodical, purposeful, and incredibly thoughtful. The weight of thoughts and internal struggle figure heavily in Darjeeling's plot, even as its characters, three brothers, Francis, Peter and Jack, "on a spiritual journey", abandon those emotions externally. The result is a film that flaunts its metaphors as freely as the brothers toss around their dead father's Louis Vuitton luggage, and which says as much absent certain words than in those said.

The story is simple enough, trials of loss and insecurity told in Anderson's whimsical fashion, but I imagine for some the privileged air of the brothers' lives is too obvious and out-of-reach to allow the story resonate. Perhaps that life (and our resulting contempt of it) is part of Anderson's point, to force us to dispense of our objections in accepting his characters for being only as flawed as we all are. Or, it's just a convenient and pretty motivation for the plot. One never knows.

MIKE EATS NEXT TIME: Sure, I enjoyed the friendly reception; let's make an agreement: see Hotel Chevalier before seeing Darjeeling Limited. (Note: Hotel Chevalier is now showing exclusively in theaters in front of The Darjeeling Limited.)

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