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

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

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