I’d originally planned on putting this review up in conjunction with The Darjeeling Limited as they were shown together in the theaters as well as on the DVD for The Darjeeling Limited. But in reality, Hotel stands alone as a great film even when you know nothing about The Darjeeling Limited.
Hotel Chevalier is the story of Jack Whitman (Jason Schwartzman) during his last night with his girlfriend (Natalie Portman). At least we’re led to belive it is his last night with her before his trip to India with his brothers, the story that’s told in The Darjeeling Limited.
As I said before this is a standalone great film while being a great compliment to The Darjeeling Limited. While short, the story that is told between these two characters is more impressive than most two hour films. The entire film is embedded above, all 13 glorious minutes of it.
I’ll talk more on this next point more in my review for Darjeeling, but one of my favorite attributes of Jack is the way he plays his own soundtrack through both films. He constantly has his iPod with sound dock set up and when any song that is directly linked to the action of the film, Jack will, at some point in the scene, reach over and either start or stop a song. It really gets fun when he stops in the middle of a song instead of at the end when most soundtracks would cut out.
That’s another thing I love about Wes Anderson, his ability to change and jump around quickly where he thinks works instead of following the norms that have become cliche in a number of blockbusters these days.
The acting between Schwartzman and Portman is astonishing as one would expect from these two. The chemistry is real and heartfelt. That may also work because they aren’t in love, they’ll “never be friends” and we learn the end to their tale in Darjeeling.
If you haven’t seen this short film, watch it! It’s quick and easy and joyful to see, just scroll up!