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

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

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