Is taking a spiritual journey on your list of things to do. Or have you taken a journey which turned out to be spiritual in some way without you planning for it. For me, the answer to both questions is yes AND no. You see, I don’t aspire to take a spiritual journey, nor have I found any spiritual events on my many journeys. In that sense my answers were truthful about the NO side of things
But, on the other side is the YES. That’s because I’ve taken a few spiritual journeys through the medium of cinema. The first one was Eat Pray Love which I reviewed here back on August 10, 2010. In that one, Julia Roberts divorced, left home and work, and made her way to Rome, Italy, then to an ashram in India, and last – she went to Bali; in all of those places she was seeking the answers to her personal questions. It may have been a spiritual awakening for her, or might have been that she loved the food. Maybe it was about meeting the right guy. Or maybe, it was about all of the above.
Today I took in the 2007 film called The Darjeeling Limited. Directed by Wes Anderson it is the story of three brothers, played by Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, and Jason Schwartzman, who are struggling with life, have suffered the death of their father, and their mother, well she had a calling of a sort. She departed their Queens, New York home, and ran off to a convent in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains in far off India. They, the brothers, have not communicated among themselves in the year that has passed since the funeral. The idea of the trip was to reunite as brothers while simultaneously rediscovering themselves as individuals.
Francis (played by Owen Wilson) organizes a travel by train trip for the three of them through Northern India on the way to a reunion with their mother. Actually his assistant created the itinerary, booked all the tickets, arranged the hotels, and so forth. He’s in the film but doesn’t make any lasting impact.
All of the above is what the film is about, but not the actual beginning of the film. Right at the opening, we are in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India. We are in a taxi and the passenger is a businessman. He’s played by Bill Murray. The taxi careens through town barely braking for motorized rickshaws, cars, trucks, buses, bicycles, or even pedestrians.