It's a question that's vexed film scholars for over a year: What is to account for the bizarre embrace of Danny Boyle's crowd-pleasing 2008 fairy tale Slumdog Millionaire — about a charming, penniless Mumbai orphan's miraculous game-show victory — by a world that, only a year before, spurned Wes Anderson's critically tolerated The Darjeeling Limited, about a trio of overentitled narcissists who drug and screw their way through India, indifferent to anyone's problems but their own? So mysterious! In a highly flattering New Yorker profile by Richard Brody this week (it's not online, sadly), Anderson ponders the enigma.
Over a drink at Le Select, in Paris, Anderson admitted that he was troubled by the reception of Darjeeling, especially in light of the success, the following year, of Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire. "Why did this India movie become a big hit and mine didn't?" he said. He answered his own question: "With my style, I can take a subject that you'd think would be commercial and turn it into something that not a lot of people want to see."
That sounds like a pretty reasonable theory to us.
Wild Wild Wes (abstract) [NYer]