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

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

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