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

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

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