The Critic – Django Unchained

Django Unchained 1

Ah yes, Django Unchained, a film I have been looking forward to for quite some time written and directed by one of my favourite people in the film industry, Mr Quentin Tarantino. I remember hearing about this movie for the first time, I got excited, I was really happy that a new Tarantino film was coming out, so I looked it up, and it looked awesome! And then one day I was sitting in the theatre with Justin and Erik and the trailers came one, and we saw a trailer for The Man with the Iron Fists, which at first we all thought was going to be the trailer for Django. Needless to say the three of us were disappointed. But when it comes down to it, I finally saw the trailer and now I’ve seen the movie, so let’s get to it!

Django (“The ‘D’ is silent”) is a “Southern”, as Tarantino calls it, based in and around Mississippi, in the south instead of the west, thus it’s a Southern. I thought it was clever… Anyway, it is the story of a man named Django (Jamie Foxx), at the opening of the movie he is a slave being taken from an auction he had just be bought at. On the way to his new owners home he is freed by Dr. King Shultz (Christoph Waltz) who we then find out is a bounty hunter. He agrees to take on Django and teach him out to become a bounty hunter and train him so that come spring he is ready to free his wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), from the slaver who bought her, Calvin Candie (Leonardo DeCaprio). The spring finally comes and they make their plan and go to Candie Land (Calvin Candies cotton plantation) and they put their plan into place. Through a series of funny and at times uncomfortable moments, Django Unchained tells an interesting and well created story of the South during the height of the slave trade.

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This movie was a lot of fun, there were moments where I was a bit uncomfortable but those were moments where people were getting hurt, viciously, there was a moment when one man got ripped apart by dogs and there was a LARGE use of the N-word, which is understandable for the time period and what the story is trying to do. I think that was in there just as much for the story as to make you feel kind of uncomfortable. That being said there are times when it’s thrown around and it’s split your sides funny, so really it balances itself out. If you’ve seen any Tarantino films you will know that they tend to be pretty gory; Django Unchained is insanely gory, even for him. The last bit of the movie is just 20 minutes of pure shoot ’em up goodness and there is blood flying EVERYWHERE, it is glorious!

Before I went to the movie I didn’t know that Samuel L. Jackson was in the film, so when his character shows up it was a pleasant surprise, not that I should have been surprised. I don’t think I have ever seen a roll that Jackson has played that was tailor made for him to do more than Candie’s head of slaves Stephen. Stephen is not a nice individual, he is an old, racist, black man who loves his master, it’s really strange hearing a black man talk about how much he hates black men, but it worked. The moment we meet his character is probably the single funniest moment in the film, I dare you to not laugh when you meet Stephen.

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Honestly this movie didn’t need to be as long as it was I don’t think, to me it felt about halfway through that it was dragging on too much. At the point when Django get’s set free by Stephen it picks up again for a while, but it still feels unnecessarily long. I don’t know if anyone else felt that way but at a certain point I kinda just wanted it to get to the end so that it would be done and I could leave. Don’t get me wrong, it was enjoyable, but at a certain point it just got to be a bit too much for me. I guess I could say that at a certain point I just got uncomfortable watching what was happening for so long, the movie ended well, but it could have ended a bit sooner. There was a moment in the movie where it seemed like you were about to find out that Stephen was only the way he was in order to stay alive and keep his good position but then you get it shoved in your face that he REALLY is an awful human being, it was kind of disappointing. He was probably my favourite character in the movie, but I just wanted him to be a good person. Oh well.

Can I talk about Leo for a second? I don’t think that man has EVER played a villain, and then you see this movie and you realize he was born to do this! He was suave, nice, calm, but a total asshat! DeCaprio managed to play a perfect villain that was kind but also very, very terrible. If Stephen was a bad guy in this movie, than DeCaprio was an evil psychopath! I was impressed by his performance in this movie more than I have been with any other movie I’ve seen him in, and I think he’s a brilliant actor already. I can’t wait to see him in The Great Gatsby this year. I don’t really have much to say on Jamie Foxx, he did a great job of transitioning from an uneducated slave to a smart bounty hunter and it was great watching that transformation happen. But Christoph Waltz on the other hand, I can’t say enough about. I’ve always loved him as an actor, he is so much fun to watch on screen, and in this movie he has amped up the fun he is having so much more. He was probably the easiest person to watch in that movie, his character was funny and brilliant and he just made so much sense for the role.

I can tell that Quentin Tarantino had fun making this movie, that is glaringly obvious when you watch it. My reaction when I got out of the movie though wasn’t “Wow that was amazing” or “That was a really solid movie” it was more “That was a lot of fun” and nothing else. And that’s the only way I can describe this film for you, a lot of fun to watch. Go check it out if you get the chance.

Pros:

  • The roles seemed absolutely tailor made for each actor
  • The movie was a lot of fun

Cons:

  • Felt too long
  • Even though it was fun it was nothing outstanding
  • Some characters felt like they should have had a bit more development to them personally but didn’t

Django Unchained: 8/10

Django Unchained 5

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