Django Unchained. I am not even really sure where to begin. And I certainly have no idea how to approach this review. This doesn't talk plot or spoilers, its more about the feelings I had about the film and the stigma around it. This review will be unlike any review you've read from me because Django Unchained is unlike any movie I've ever seen. So with my first few introductory sentences out of the way you'll excuse me if I ramble or stumble from time to time. My goal is try my hardest to encompass my truest of true feelings about this film.
Firstly, Tartino is a terrific film maker. One of the best. Django Unchained, even if a lowly zero budget teen slasher flick, would have been intriguing and thought provoking. It's just the in his DNA. So to say I enjoy his films, I do. Do I love everyone? No, not at all, but I always enjoy his style. And boy does he have style. Another thing Mr. Tarintino likes to do is push the envelope. That he does. And in a TITANIC way with this film.
Django Unchained is about romance more than anything else. Yep, sorry guys it's a romance film! I know, out of left field it hit me too..... I doubt you'll mind though because the bloods a pouring in buckets with action as well. So yes, it's a romantic action film. Let's get that out of the way. But the film is so much more. The film digs into your soul grasping at ones believes, ones angers, fears, prejudices, ones morals, the list could go on and on but you might not even get that far. Why you ask? Read on to find out.
The media will likely sour you on Django Unchained before you even get to enjoy the "ride" because of the use of the "N" word. Don't watch this movie if your offended by the "N" word is what they will tell you. Some of your friends and relatives will probably say the same thing. I say if your not offended by the true use of the "N" word then yeah don't watch this movie, in fact, go fuck yourself. Wow, that was strong Justin. Was that necessary?
Well I don't normally throw out the old "F" bomb in my day to days and especially in a review, but I just did. If I offended you I am sorry. It's just a parlor trick so I can get into your mind and let you peek into mine. Like the use of the "N" word, the "F" word provokes emotions and that is what I will so desperately try to get across in my review. And don't worry. I won't be ung the "F" word or any other "curse" word in this review but know that you'll most certainly hear far worse in this film. If you're offended by reality and the fact that some people curse then by all means, don't watch. :)
Shawshank Redemption. The film evokes many of the same emotions of Django Unchained. Frank Darabont, the director of said film shares many of the same qualities of Tarintino. They both love to push the envelope. If you disagree with me watch the film based on a Stephen King book titled "The Myst". King didn't write the infamous ending to that film, Darabont did, however King stated that he would have loved to claim it had he the brillance at the time to think of it. The reason I mention the film Shawshank Redemption is not just because of the director. It's also because it is one of my favorite films. I just like that style of film. Something that truly makes you think. And iIt's the only comparison I can make to Django Unchained as a film. But it, in all my enjoyment for Shawshank and what it has given me over the years, I am excited to say that it doesn't hold a candle, in my humble opinion, to my new "favorite" film. Django Unchained.
Django Unchained had me bursting with emotions I had no idea I had. Growing up in Southern Indiana at a practically all white school, the most I knew about slavery was the great televion mini series known as "Roots". It tells a lot of the story and is great educational film, you should check it out if you haven't but it didn't tell the story completely in a way that captivated me as an adult and in our current culture like Django Unchained did.
As stated earlier, I personally believe this is a romance film at heart, it just so happens to take place in slavery times however that doesn't mean that the underline slavery story isn't more effective. It is. I don't know how to describe the feelings I have now. Let's just say, things make sense. I see a bit clearer then I did. And I have always been as little prejudice as I can, if you know me then you'll back me up. I don't hate someone based off the color of their skin. When I dislike someone its because of actions, not color, even though I grew up in this little snow white town. Again, its a stigma. I went to a "white" school so you must be prejudice? Nope, actually it drove me more into the the other direction diving into the culture in ways that I'll hold onto until my death. And again, if you knew me from then and you know me now you would understand what I mean. But my personal beliefs shouldn't matter so I'll move on.
So was this the mind bending, life altering movie that I am making it out to be? Was it as bloody and full of action? Was the kill scenes as gory as your friends will tell you? Well if you've read this far you'll know my answer is an astounding yes! Would I change some things about the film? Of course, I'm human and as a species we tend to love to pick apart even the greatest works of art. I won't go into heavy film plot details because you must see this film, no spoilers here, but I would have loved the movie to end at a part where a certain "deceased hip hop artist" RIP Tupac (ha) song is playing and the intense action ends. I would have ended it there. It went further and still turned out fantastic, so I won't complain. But for me it was so intense during that scene that an end would have did my heart some justice as it was rapidly beating in both anger and sorrow. To keep going was exhausting but still super fun and a fitting "Hollywood" ending.
I could and would keep going but I will save you your time so you too can see the film. The acting is incredible. Christopher Waltz, oh man. DeCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson (oh Sammy, you devil you) and Jamie Foxx, words can't express, to think you once played Wanda on the sketch comedy series "In Living Color". Jamie Foxx. Thank you is all I can say...
I'll wind down on this note. Not preaching or boasting now that I have seen this movie I'm not prejudice. No film can erase or remake our troubled past. And this one doesn't. We as a people will always be prejudice out of ignorance, that doesn't mean we're stupid. It just means we don't understand what we don't know. So no this film won't erase that. But it does definitely make an impact. Right in your heart. If it doesn't, I'd be interested to hear how.
And to wait and watch this film on Martin Luther King Jr.'s Day was a terrific choice, thanks to my lovely wife for that. Someone who I now love even more because of this film. Remember and sorry guys, it's a romantic film at its core. Doesn't sound macho, does it? It might not be but the movie is. It's as macho as it can be. Believe that!
Lastly the muc in this film is mply amazing. From Johnny Cash to Rick Ross. Tarintino's use of muc in film is an art all in itself and worth the price of the ticket.