I had always wanted to watch Django Unchained but I could never get around to it. That is until a week ago when me, my brother and my dad sat down to watch a copy of it on Blu-Ray. All we really knew about it was that it seemed to be a Quentin Tarantino-esque spaghetti western, a Tarrenetti western perhaps? Oh! And that it starred Jamie Foxx and Samuel L Jackson, so even then my interest was piqued because they are absolutely fantastic actors (Samuel L being my absolute favourite out of the two). Although I would be remiss to not mention Leo Di Caprio.
His performance was first class in his portrayal of a despicable yet charismatic slave owner/driver. Ever since watching the film Shutter Island where Di Caprio was the lead also, I have had a new-found respect for him as he was fantastic then, and he is fantastic now. He plays Mr Candie or Monsieur Candie due to him being a bit of a Francophone and he owns a massive plantation aptly named “Candie Land” and you have to admit he has such a groundswell of charisma, you have to think that, that he has to be like that to be able to justify to himself and to others the utterly evil deeds of slavery and routine murder and playing it off as just business.
When he commits these acts, or orders these utterly horrific deeds, the emotion it draws out of you is utterly genuine (well it did for me). Seeing him have one of his fighters/slaves/Human beings! Torn to shreds by ravenous dogs is utterly harrowing and definitely upsetting, and was it necessary to show on film? I think so, as it gives the viewer a darker glimpse inside the mindset of Mr Candie. But at the same time I am definitely not in a hurry to see a scene like that again.
We would have to go back to the beginning, where we are introduced to Django and the man who free’s him (who acts as his mentor too) Dr. Schulz, a German who just so happens to be wandering alone in America, although this does get explained by way of finding it that he is a bounty hunter, although not until later.
Dr Schulz comes across a couple of slave driver cowboys with a handful of slaves chained up. It seems to be complete chance that Schulz comes across Django, barely clothed with horrible scars on his back and carrying a heavy burden both physical and mental. It’s during this scene that we get a first glimpse of the Tarantino magic, which of course I mean vast blood explosions with added gore. You have to admit the effect is spectacular, but a little unwarranted when it comes to blowing a horses head into pieces. We didn’t need to see that, but there y’go, consider me shocked.
Once we get introduced properly to Django and Dr Schulz, we find out that Schulz is a bounty hunter, but also a rather pleasant well-educated man, Django even while bearing his scars still retains his humanity, although at the time you wouldn’t blame him for being a little wary considering how barbarically he’s been treated by the white man.
But, they start to form a strong bond and Django begins to work with Schulz on various bounties as he begins to hone his gunslinging skills to the nth degree. Now you may think is this just to do with bounty hunting? The answer is no, because Django has a painful secret he carries, he has a wife called Broomhilda, apparently a corruption on Brunhilde? I’m not entirely sure, but anyway Django and his wife were separated at a slave auction.
It’s here where the film takes a turn to the standard western revenge pre-tense, rather than showing Tarantino’s ultra graphic slap in the face take of slavery.
Instead we get an ultra Graphic, completely in your face revenge movie, which is where we get back to Candie Land, because shock horror, Candie was the one who bought Broomhilda. But Candie doesn’t know that Django and Broomhilda are husband and wife, all the while Schulz is trying to do business/negotiating for her release. This all gets played out during wonderful moments such as the dinner scene, or when Django spots his wife for the first time in years.
This film is full of memorable moments, unfortunately the film is roughly 3 hours long, while it never drags on and actually doesn’t feel like 3 hours. As a result its impossible to be able to list all of them without having a couple of hundred thousand word essay.
Although one moment I have to mention before I call it quits here, is the point near the end where Quentin Tarantino has his own little cameo, although he has a terrible accent, he does get blown up while carrying several bags of TNT, the timing is genius and you cant help but laugh.
Ok I’ve taken up enough of your time 🙂
I hope you enjoyed hearing my rambling about Django Unchained, If you haven’t seen it yet then I highly recommend it!