Tarantino’s Django Unveiled

Quentin Tarantino has to be one of my favorite directors of all time. He’s bold, detailed, gritty, and a fantastic storyteller. Not to mention everything he touches has unforgettable flare. His most recent film, Django Unchained, a spaghetti-western, revenge story combined with exaggerated pre-Civil War history, fits into his portfolio swimmingly. Django currently ranks second at the box office, and was nominated for six Golden Globes, 2 of which Christoph Waltz and Tarantino won. There have been debates that it is his best film since Pulp Fiction. But, let’s dive a little deeper and discuss Django objectively.django-unchained-quentin-tarantino

Tarantino does a handful of things with excellence, and Django’s character development, script, violence/action, and plot were no exception. I’ve noticed Tarantino’s interest in period pieces lately, including Inglorious Basterds, and have to say he might have found another niche. Perhaps, his success with period pieces depends on which catastrophic, historical event he chooses. He’s done Nazi Germany, and now slavery, what will be next?


The main characters in Django are really what reflect the film’s power. They are diverse as well as masters of their own survival, as many people were at the time. There is no sugar-coating here, folks. In the film, there were plenty of scenes that made me cringe and clench my fists, and I possess a pretty high tolerance for violence in films.              I mean, one of my favorite directors is Tarantino – tolerance for violence is practically required. Dr. Schultz, played by Christoph Waltz, pleasantly restores amiability and morality to the film’s storyline amongst all of the despicable characters. Django, played by the well-received Jamie Foxx, acts as the hero, and provides a fresh perspective from a slave who has grasped some freedom. And my favorite, Calvin Candie, played by the esteemed Leonardo DiCaprio, contributed a splendidly vile persona to the famous cotton plantation owner.


 I believe the film has become so popular, despite its controversial subject matter and the abundance of the N-word, due to the actors and actresses casted, and because of the love between Django and Broomhilda. One could say the entire plot is about love. I, on the other hand, enjoyed other aspects of the film more, such as the dialogue, dark humor, cinematography and the sheer entertainment of it all. The scene where Schultz shoots one of the Brittle brothers off their horse and the blood from the gunshot splatters onto the pure, white cotton plant comes to mind. The clever juxtaposition of the red blood covering the fluffy, white cotton alludes to the impurity of the pre-Civil War era. As for dark humor, who knew you could laugh so hard at something so sensitive as the KKK? The scene where Big Daddy, played brilliantly by Don Johnson, and his fellow white folks are about to raid Schultz and Django’s wagon is unnervingly hilarious. I was slightly uncomfortable in the movie theatre, wondering if I was allowed to laugh or not, as these guys complained about the visibility of poorly made KKK bag-hats. Scenes like these are undoubtedly hard to pull off, and Tarantino definitely showcased his unique sense of humor, which I can imagine is not for everyone.

Cons: Jamie Foxx’s performance seemed a bit lackluster for me. He was inconsistent with his speech as a slave, and spoke too properly toward the end, even though he had been learning from Schultz. Not to mention his convenient talent for shooting guns. I do give him props, however, for doing a full nude scene where Billy Crash fondles his manhood.

Fun facts: The scene when Calvin, after he learned about Schultz and Django’s deceitful charade to acquire Broomhilda, smacked his hand on the table and accidentally broke the drinking glass and then used his own blood to wipe on Kerry’s face was complete improvisation. Everyone on set applauded Leo after the scene ended.

All in all, after seeing it in theaters twice (which is saying a lot for my persnickety taste), I give Tarantino 5 stars out of 5! 5-star-rating-wordpress-big

If you feel differently about the film, and don’t mind laughing in good fun, check out this shorter parody of the film highlighting its faults. Do you think Tarantino handled such a controversial issue, such as slavery, well in his film? Also, check out this 8-part interview with Tarantino and the cast about Django.


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