Written and Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Starring Jamie Foxx, Leonardo Dicaprio and Christoph Waltz
I am going to try not to spoil this movie because I think everyone should see it at least once. However, as I will mention below, this movie contains some extremely offensive subject matter, the least of which is the violence.
Django is a slave in the pre-Civil War South freed by bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz. The two of them then begin a campaign to free Django’s wife from the slaver Calvin Candie.
What I liked
If you are like me and enjoy the irreverent take Quentin Tarantino brings to just about every subject matter he handles, then you will enjoy this movie. At its essence, this movie is spaghetti western heist flick where the robbers are cornered from the very start. Instead of an intricate plan to free themselves, out come the guns and everybody suffers. Add into that all the best actors fitting together in the best parts and this movie shines.
All of Tarantino’s movies contain at least a moment of quirky humor or dialog brought on by the ridiculousness of the situation. This movie goes for some of the most direct and pure humor I have seen that I think this is almost an homage to Blazing Saddles as much as it is Sergio Leone. The bag-eye hole scene alone will be remembered in comedy for years to come.
Look, there’s an elephant in the room and I am going to name him. Racism in the south. Yeah, it exists as it does everywhere, but none more so in the time when we bought and sold people. There’s a word thrown around in this movie that is still thrown around in unpolite society to this day. And this movie is filled to the brim with it. It does not shy away. There is not PC guard on this movie at all. As Blazing Saddles did before it, I just holds up a mirror to the society that was and goes, “Yeah. This happened and it was like this. Fucked up, huh?” And it was and it is. Hell, the real life implications are told so well they almost come off as comical, making this come as close to a work of art as comedy can get.
What I didn’t like
Three. Damn. Hours.
Let’s get this out there: I cannot tell if directors are hearing the complaints of rising ticket prices and want to give people a bang for their buck or what, but I would love to see a movie that tells a gripping story in 90 minutes. Just once. Now that I have said that, this movie does clip along and you only really feel the runntime in the last hour or thirty minutes or so. I am not one to say, “Hey, save that scene for the sequel,” but much like the bloated novels that have come from authors, there’s a couple editors out there that should be given a little more power over their genius creators.
Who would like this
Tarantino fans. Film scholars looking to pad a class or two referencing modern movies taking on old spaghetti westerns. College students finding meaning in blades of grass or whatever. I dunno who this was made for outside of Tarantino himself, but I had fun.