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

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

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