Film
“Django Unchained” A Sensational Work Of Art
By LaDale Anderson
Dec 26, 2012 - 7:09:15 PM

HOLLYWOOD—Let’s be clear this movie is not for everyone. Some people will be overly angered after watching “Django Unchained” as it tackles a period in America history that many people would like to forget, but in all honesty the past is never forgotten. Quentin Tarantino who wrote and directed the picture delivers some of his best work on the screen since his bloody violent “Pulp Fiction.”

 

“Django” tackles two very sensitive issues in culture: slavery and racism.  Slavery is an issue that many would like to forget ever existed, but it happened and the movie does indeed tackle the issue in a more rooted society.  Is it an accurate depiction of course not, I’m sure just as every other moviegoer is sure, far worse things happened to slaves than what is depicted on the screen.  Jamie Foxx stars as Django, a slave who finds himself at the mercy of some torturous slave owners.  His life is spared when he has an encounter with a bounty hunter/dentist Dr. Schultz portrayed by Christoph Waltz. 

 

Schultz makes a promise to Django to free him from slavery if he helps indentify the Brittle Brothers.  At  first Django is skeptical, but agrees only if Schultz helps him to find and rescue his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) from a vicious slave owner, Calvin Candie portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio.  What is it about playing a villain that works so well for actors? I have no idea, but DiCaprio lights the screen as this charismatic charmer; do not let his looks fool you, he’s wickedly evil to the core and a treat to watch on the screen.  I smell an Oscar-nomination in his near future.

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Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio in "Django Unchained."

 

DiCaprio’s turn isn’t the only standout, so is Tarantino regular Samuel L. Jackson as Stephen.  Stephen is the head house slave at Candyland, and makes sure to keep all slaves in check.  Jackson is quite frightening on the screen and delivers a glare that will give chills to children. 

 

What makes this picture so fantastic is Quentin’s ability to transform the issue of slavery into a forum of discussion.  While the picture is rooted in the Deep South, it takes on the principle of being a Western.  While it’s not accurate on that account, that genre bending allows the picture to tackle an issue without causing it to be overly taboo.  There are some outrageous lines by Jamie Foxx that may offend some audiences, while others will be laughing in the theater seat.

 

I did think at some points in the picture after about 90 minutes in, the pacing halts a pick, but finds it footing in a timely manner.  The issue of racism is a clear indicator of what Tarantino attempts to do in the movie: acknowledge a subject matter that is still quietly discussed behind closed doors.  Racism exists in America and if people look you in the face and say otherwise, it’s a complete lie. It’s not as overt as it appears in “Django Unchained,” but in some regions in America it still is. 

 

The picture is bloody violent to the core, if its not loads of blood it ain’t a Tarantino picture.  The concept is fresh, smart, clever and absolutely hilarious and thought provoking all at once.  It’s been awhile since I’ve been in a theater where the audience was on a roller-coaster ride enjoying every single second of the movie.  “Django Unchained” is not for kids, but for everyone else it’s a movie to be seen, not just for the entertainment value, but a historical lesson dissecting a dark moment in American history that many of us fail to acknowledge.



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