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

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

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