Django Unchained (2012)
I’ve only been back from the cinema around twenty minutes, so I have had some time to soak in Django Unchanined (2012) which sees Quentin Tarantino’s latest offering. Watching last night, Inglorious Basterds (2009) reminded me of the power, violence and poetry that he is capable of.
As we all know the plot follows a duo of bounty hunters across the South. One is the charming and once again complicated man portrayed by Christoph Waltz, whom you never know what he will sat or do next. And a more emotional and recently freed slave Django (Jamie Foxx) who wants to free his wife from slavery herself.
I remember being excited as the opening credits to read the composer Ennio Morricone, to then hear playing a raw version of the Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970) chiming away with ease as the two enter the first town.
The onscreen violence is there from the very start, each time catching you off gaurd, throwing you back into the film, when at times you are at ease. However the ease doesn’t last for long the more we see slaves being mis-treated in the eyes of a modern audience, but maybe this is the only way to see what happened, there’s no point beating around the bush, when you can confront and audience, making them feel uncomfortable at how there were seen. I found the dog scene to be a step too far for me as a viewer, who can Tarantino’s violence in my stride, yet as soon as it was off screen and we feel safely away from the audio we are only given, the rest of the image is filled in for us, in graphic detail.
Thinking of past reviews that I have read and more recent discussions on the use of the N word which I wont repeat, I feel that a certain license is awarded here when the subject matter is in direct context with what we are dealing with. However for it seems to be over used for me. I understand that they have a dislike and treat the black man as a lower species of human, but is it all necessary.
Seeing Leonardo DiCaprio in his first villian role is something that seems to come with ease to him, as he chews up the dialogue as well as the old pro Samuel L. Jackson in an even more sinister role as Stephen who can read between the lines of his master. These two push the boundaries further as to the potential directions this film could move in.
Once again I feel that victim of the piece rising up in the film, against all the odds, redeems the violence that is committed on a scale that could only be matched in style (not volume) to Scarface (1983) that saves it all up til there end.
Lastly concerning the length that has been criticised, I feel that I can only say that it only puts off the inevitable rescue, to see prince charming literally ride in and take his princes away. That is my only point, and it’s how it’s done, one more final showdown when we thought it was all over.
Overall a thrilling near three hour spaghetti western, which not moving at the regular pace of a the genre, is made up in the content we found within. It’s more a backdrop to tell a rescue/revenge tale which loves the genre and plays with it.
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