I’m not a huge fan of 1960s Spaghetti westerns on the whole. I mean, if somebody sat me down and forced me to watch it I wouldn’t be unhappy but as a genre, it never really appealed to me. I think in general, I don’t really like films with a lot of gratuitous violence and war films bore me to death. Too many explosions, too much fighting and blood.
Having said all of that, I think that Django Unchained is possibly one of the best films I’ve seen in a long long time. I know, I’m a little late jumping on this blogging band wagon about Django because the rest of the blogisphere seem to just be losing their shit about this film!
In a nutshell, this is basically another revenge film. Jamie Foxx plays the main character called Django who is a freed slave on a mission to save his wife who has been taken to Mississipi to work on the infamous Candyland plantation. In the opening scene, our hero is freed by Dr. Schultz (Christoph Waltz), a bounty hunter, who needs Django’s help in identifying 3 men he is trying to kill. After hearing of his plight, Dr. Schultz agrees to help Django rescue his wife, Broomhilde. Under the pretense of buying a Mandango fighter, Dr. Schultz and Django make their way to Candyland where they meet the evil Calvin Candie (Leo DiCaprio), lord and master of the notorious plantation. Samuel L Jackson’s portrayal of Calvin Candie’s right hand man, is absolutely perfect; the most terrifying Uncle Tom you could ever hope to meet. Of course, when Django and Dr. Schultz’s cover is blown, a hellish blood bath ensues.
I think everybody when watching any Tarantino film will just have to accept that it is not historically accurate. I don’t think the point of the movie was to spout facts at the audience while trying to simply re-create an environment. Tarantino produces works of art so of course its going to look and feel infinitely more stylish and Hollywood. At the same time, Tarantino was careful to highlight the realities of the pre civil-war era which meant that some scenes were almost unbearable to watch because horrific things did happen to those poor slaves.
I think, for me personally anyway, the script and the acting was incredible. I’ve always been a fan of the monologue and I find Tarantino’s prose absolutely mesmerising. I especially liked the character of Dr. Schultz because he is such a “nice” man.
A lot of people commented on the use of the word “nigger” throughout the film. Some people said they thought it was unnecessary, some thought it really added to the general unease regarding the subject of the film. Personally, I think that any person who thinks they can just throw the word so carelessly around like that is a bit of an idiot but at the same time, I hate the fact that the world is so obsessed with political correctness that even words that come out of actor’s mouths are judged with the same disdain as if you or I had uttered it. I think, ultimately, if they had halved the amount of times they say the word in the film, it wouldn’t have affected the quality much. To be honest, I don’t know if its bad or not, but I didn’t give that much thought to it at all when I walked out the cinema but it seems to be a hot topic at the moment.
The ONLY criticism about the movie is the Broomhilde character. She really doesn’t do much except…look alluring in a lake in Django’s imagination and speak a bit of German to Dr. Schultz. I would have liked to have seen a strong female lead character, especially in a film about the slave trade. It seemed a bit of an anti-climax when I realised that she was, essentially, more of a symbolic goal than a hugely important part of Django’s life. This made her a bit of a two-dimensional character. I actually found her story really interesting
Apart from that, there is LOADS of violence, LOADS of action, really great characters played by brilliant actors. After we all walked out of the cinema, the film sparked a debate that lasted well into the night.
I’m keen to hear your thoughts on the film! I hope I didn’t give too much away, please comment. Hopefully, I can successfully get a debate going!