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.

Recent Posts


Tags

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

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