Django Unchained – Classic Story for the Modern World

“Kill white people and get paid for it? What’s not to like?” – Django

Is this a good movie?  

I never really enjoyed Quentin Tarantino movies before, even his universally acclaimed movies such as Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill. So when I saw this movie in class, I was not expecting much. After the movie, I was completely blown away, I thought that it was a truly entertaining film, that never had a dull moment.

I will start off with the casting, this movie had some big names, and impressive performances. Jamie Foxx did a fantasic job, I thought he really had a nice balance of showing the horrific aspects of being a slave, yet at the same time was very comedic. Leonardo was also great, I had researched about the movie after I watched it, and found out that his dinner scene was mostly unscripted, (spoilers) he had cut his hand during the scene (that was his real blood you saw) and told Tarantino to continue filming, coming up with the idea of wiping the blood on Broomhilda’s face. Christoph Waltz was one of the most fresh and new “good guy” character portrayals that I have ever seen in film. He won an oscar for best supporting actor for this movie, so I do not have to say anything else. Everyone else was great, and the casting was overall really well done.

The film’s score is one of the most important aspects of the movie, it was a mix of both old-school and new-school soundtracks, which really helped with what the movie was attempting to do overall. Which is, to create a western, with it’s typical story line, characters, and ending, yet make it different enough so that you do not feel like you are watching a Western from the 60’s (pastiche/post-modernism). This is why I loved the film, the plot was very traditional, but it had a lot of different aspects that typical Westerns do not have, such as all that blood, gore, violence, rap music, comedy, etc.

I do understand that some people did not like the movie, as it turned a serious event (slavery), into a comedic/entertainment piece. I do agree that we should be aware that serious events such as slavery should be serious. However, in my opinion, every movie ever created has one goal, which is to entertain people, let them escape for one to two hours, into the fantasy world created by the movie. Even serious films, such as Twelve Years a Slave, is a much more accurate description of the slavery issue, however, the main intention of the film is to present that tragic period in an entertaining way. If you want accurate information, and less entertainment, documentaries are much more suited for you. I never took this movie seriously, I fully understand that the slavery time period was a very serious issue, so while watching this movie, I knew that it was purely an entertainment movie, that is exactly what Tarantino intended to present with the movie, it was not meant to be an accurate recollection of that time period.

Another thing I remember is a student being angry about how Dr.Schultz was the one who “gave” Django his freedom, and so he is being depicted as the “hero”, the white person over the black person issue. I disagree with that, because you have to look at the time period the movie is set in, imagine how difficult it would be for a slave to become free all on his own, with no help (specifically from a very intelligent white person). So I see it as, that it was Django’s only option to become free.

Overall, I thought that the movie was really great, all due to the fact that the movie’s concept was very fresh and different, if it followed the same traditional Western movie, then the movie would not be as successful as it was.

I understand that some might disagree with my thoughts, so feel free to comment on anything you disagree with, as I would also like to hear your point of view since I might have missed some things.

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