Film Blog

Django Unchained

posted by the hanging out team - Thursday, February 07, 2013

 image is copyright of the Weinstein Company

The name Tarantino brings with it some expectation when walking in to a screening of one of his films. Apart from the inevitable controversy, trailers, and interviews (including a particularly toe curling channel 4 one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrsJDy8VjZk) announcing its arrival, the very fact that it carries the name Tarantino meant I went into that cinema screening with rather a lot of presumptions; it was going to be violent, bloody, frenetic, and over the top, and, well, I wasn’t wrong.

‘Django Unchained’ is set in 1858 in the America’s Deep South just before the abolition of slavery. It’s a period in American history which seems to be getting some cinematic attention recently (courtesy of Mr Spielberg as well as a certain presidential vampire hunter), but Django is a very different beast from them both. The film follows a former dentist, now bounty hunter, Dr King Schultz, who buys the freedom of the slave Django to help complete a job. Along the way, the narrative turns to revenge as Django, aided by the doctor, enacts his vengeance on those white racists who’ve abused him, his wife, and other slaves in numerous different and brutal ways.

‘Django Unchained’ has its entertaining scenes including a particularly comic one in which the Ku Klux Klan struggle with the shoddily cut eye holes in their home made hoods. There are great performances; a brilliantly vile Leonardo DiCaprio chews up the scenery and sneers as he does so as the slave owner and business man Calvin Candie, and Christoph Waltz does a decent job as Dr. King Schultz. The mix-tape like soundtrack of contemporary pop songs woven in with the period setting works, and there are some tense moments, particularly in a scene round a dinner table, in which Dr Schultz and Django try to dupe the pernicious Mr Candie. The problem is these moments occur within a film which feels completely over-stuffed, and way over-long.

There are exciting, frenetic sequences of hyper, explosive, ‘watered-down-ketchup’ style violence where Django bloodies up his oppressors, but they sit uneasily with another type of violence. Slaves are tied up, whipped, abused, and ripped apart by dogs, and these moments don’t sit well alongside the stylized pulpy violence more familiar to Tarantino. Another irk of ‘Django Unchained’ is its use of racial epithets. The dialogue is peppered with that n-word, and contrary to the director’s claim, it doesn’t seem to me to be there for the purpose of historical accuracy (instead I imagine the gleeful grin on Quentin’s face as he wrote them in, “oh boy, oh boy, this is gonna make ‘em mad!”).

It’s unfortunate, because there is a better film in there somewhere, but ultimately ‘Django Unchained’ is too much; too long, and far too indulgent.

Showing now at Rich Mix cinema, click here for details.

By Nicholas Beer.
Trackback Link
Post has no trackbacks.

Recent Posts


Kilburn revenge Ky-mani Marley Destrehan Chiwetel Ejiofor carpenter Bass Hanging Out Best Director New Orleans 2013 Sundance Film Festival United States 2014 Golden Globes Factory Fifteen Oscars Arnon Milchan Wyclef Jean fieldslave Brixton Riots Morgan Heritage best motion picture Yvonne Deutschman Saratoga Springs freeman Best Actor Black Friday New York State channel 4 interview Dementia Patsey Dede Gardner violent Madonna 1853 Bocage Joseph Logsdon drugged screenwriter Bob Marley’s son Christopher Berry Chris Chalk HBO TV Felicity novelist controversy African American freedom Rich Mix Garret Dillahunt overseer Scoot McNairy Zack Snyder Michael K. Williams Poster John Ridley Henry Caville Man of Steel Shaggy Steve McQueen Dwight Henry Bryan Batt Paul Dano Rick Elgood Solomon Northup Washington lynching 12 Years a Slave true story Kelsey Scott Slavery Joe Walker Deep South The Life of Pi cotton Cherine Anderson Cameron Zeigler Sizzla Bill Pohlad British epic Sean Bobbitt Russell Crowe Devyn A. Tyler Illustrator long take Sue Eakin Superman Quvenzhané Wallis Slaves Magnolia memoir Bill Camp Regency Enterprises west end pub CGI Prometheus Robot and Frank Michael Shannon 150 years ago free North Idris Elba Stoker Robert Redford Sly and Robbie Writer Alfre Woodard Best Picture One Love Benghal Tiger short film Rob Steinberg Jeremy Kleiner Sundance Film Festival 50th Anniversary of Jamaica’s independence Ruth Negga tricked Sarah Paulson Leonardo DiCaprio walk the line Memory Loss Fantasy Jonah Michael Fanti Jay Huguley Kibwe Tavares Science Fiction Paul Giamatti historical Frank Langella Adepero Oduye Anthony Katagas nine Academy Award The Avengers Bethnal Green violence Benedict Cumberbatch The Harder They Come Drama black man Lupita Nyong'o America Don Letts Zanzibar Peter Sarsgaard Quentin Tarantino Hans Zimmer marek tarkowski Brad Pitt Bob Marley Django Unchained Jamie Foxx Britney Spears Ang Lee Louisiana Platt Robots of Brixton Michael Fassbender Hanging Out Project Jamaica Richard Parker Elam Forrester Taran Killam film Christoph Waltz Trevor D Rhone Sean Paul


    Business Hubs

    Tuareg Productions LTD
    Hub Space
    Hub Space
    Hub Space
    Hub Space
    Hub Space
    Hub Space
    Hub Space
    Hub Space