hanging-out-logo

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
http://www.hangingout.org.uk/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=11836&PostID=378587&A=Trackback
Trackbacks
Post has no trackbacks.

Recent Posts


Tags

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

Archive

    Business Hubs

    Tuareg Productions LTD
    Hub Space
    Hub Space
    Hub Space
    Hub Space
    Hub Space
    richmix
    saint-martins-college-of-arts-design
    xclusive-touch
    Hub Space
    Hub Space
    Hub Space
    xnew-art-exchange
    kent-creative
    ace-cafe-london
    xclusive-chauffeuring