Quentin Tarantino has a way of doing his ‘out of the box’ films; he takes an otherwise regular story and does it in such a way that you cannot help but question his ‘normality’. Quentin is not the topic of this review though, so I will leave all his eccentricities aside.
Django Unchained is a movie that has taken the topic of slavery – which most of you (if not all of you) reading can only claim to know about either via reading or watching other films and he has developed a story so captivating and different. The only issue I have with the movie is that people would easily get lost in the wrong emotions it can birth.
Since most of my audience is black, I would like to ask you guys a couple of questions:
- Did you experience a certain disdain for white folks while watching this movie? Don’t it’s all in the past.
- Did you notice how the circumstances around the black people had formed a certain mindset in them? They didn’t even think they were good enough for some certain things?
- What exactly could have gone wrong with someone like Samuel L. Jackson’s character?
- What was the difference between Django and the others?
- How do you think you would have been if you were born in that era? Remember if you’re reading this, there’s a 90% probability right now that you’re black!
[toggle title=”Plot/Production“]I am sure the topic of slavery is still a touchy-feely one for a lot of people in the United States and some will argue till tomorrow that elements of slavery are still present in modern-day civilizations around the world. Do you think that’s accurate?
Django takes us back to a period where slavery was still very much legal and very much horrid. Unlike Lincoln which discusses the bureaucracy that was involved in abolishing the whole phenomenon, Django takes us on a journey of a man who as far as I’m concerned was just a slave by situation not in the mind.
The plot had Quentin’s hand all over it – his flair for the dramatics, his gory sense of humour, his explicit script, and the production was effective enough to portray all of it very well.[/toggle]
[toggle title=”Cast“]Django played by Jamie Foxx
Before I review this character may I say that I am quite surprised Jamie Foxx did not get any nominations for his role; He did an awesome job as Django and it could probably be his second best after Ray.
This character has been through a lot as a slave and it is obvious somewhere in his mind he realises that the life he is living is not what it should be. If you notice from other characters, they had become slaves in their mind and even though they were going through a lot, they had actually come to accept the situation. Some may have resented the whole thing but they lacked the vision and mission Django had and they would probably have had no idea what to do with freedom.
This phenomenon was mirrored in Lincoln too, where the question became what the black race would do with freedom?
The white people who even fought for the freedom of the blacks did not know if they could handle it. I do not blame them as they had become victims of their circumstances, but it reminds me of something I have learnt as believer, ‘Always look beyond your circumstances because the only thing they would do is box you in, hamper your vision and your drive to accomplish things in life!’
Dr. King Schultz played by Christopher Waltz
Christopher Waltz and Quentin Tarantino are slowly becoming kindred brothers (
come to think of it even Leonardo DiCaprio was in Inglorious Basterds, hmm My Bad it was Brad Pitt not Leonardo). I believe he just may be the best actor out there to portray whatever weird direction Quentin wants to go on film.
The character of Dr Schultz may be viewed as just a weird funny character by some but the thing that struck me most about him was the fact that he despised slavery so much in an era where it was the norm. He did not for once treat Django or any other black individual like anything less than equal to him.
How do you suppose he got that way? I believe also, by not letting the circumstances around him define him.
What helped him out is that he was street wise person and calculative and was very charming. He used his strengths very well to get what he wanted. Even though it got him killed.
Calvin Candie played by Leonardo DiCaprio
Sometimes you wonder how people can get as depraved as this character was (because I know there are folks out there like this) but at the same time you realise that we live in a world of choices. You either choose good or evil?
It was quite normal to be the way he was at the time. It was infact ‘cultural acceptable’ to be as depraved as you could be towards a black individual. Do you then blame him? Yes I do. (Conversation for another day)
Broomhilda played by Kerry Washington
The object of Django’s mission, this character showed great defiance as she continually tried to escape even when she did not know Django’s whereabouts. I know some may say that she was just putting herself through hell (if they even think about it to that point) but I believe she was doing all that she could so she would not get comfortable like the others.
Stephen played by Samuel L. Jackson
This character to me is probably the equivalent of the guys in Africa in the old days that did not understand their loyalties and had become so confused that they were hurting themselves and their brethren by their actions. Samuel L. Jackson has a way of playing characters you would dislike so well. I know I have seen him in such roles at least three times.
I ask again, how do you get this way? Well it’s happening everywhere everyday today so I guess someone should supply us the answers![/toggle]
[toggle title=”Supporting Cast“]
The other characters in this film made the film whole. I believe this was a very good combination, congratulations to them all. Even Quentin who had a minor role where he got blown up, Lol!
Django is a feel good film. Anyone who has watched it probably enjoyed it thoroughly.
It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it has gone on to become Quentin’s highest grossing film at the American Box Office; well he deserves it – he wrote, produced, directed and acted in the film!
Have you seen it? Did you enjoy it? What are your thoughts?[/toggle]