The latest by Tarantino, sorry, the latest mega epic (or “I can’t cut anything any more”). Nearly 3 hours. 3 hours, ffs Quentin!
So what it’s all about? Django is a slave freed by a bounty hunter (Dr. Schultz) played by Christoph Waltz who is after three men that Django can identify. After freeing Django and hearing of his sale and his want to find his wife, Schultz invites him to join him bounty hunting for the winter, after which he will help him retrieve his wife. Django’s wife is owned by Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) and lives on his vast estate named Candie Land (as you would). When we finally make it there you can guess at the bloody rest.
Much like Bastards it has some really great scenes but lacks the feel of a crafted whole. The grind house parts are somewhat played out and maybe even to Tarantino himself as they are few and far between. Only used well in flashback and just there for the sake of it the other times.
When I heard Jamie Bell was Django and saw the trailer I was a little concerned but luckily he plays the part well. Everybody plays their parts well as you would expected from such an accomplished ensemble. Waltz does excel however and is the joy of the movie. DiCaprio seems to relish his role as the evil slaver. Samuel L. Jackson has an unusual role where he plays the head slave of the house instead of his usual bad ass.
Much has been said about the possibility of the movie being racist. Most of this comes from the copious usage of the word “nigger”. Anyone who listened to any rap during the 90s onwards will probably be somewhat immune to it’s over use. It’s constant use does show that it’s not so much the word itself but the feeling behind it that matters. The movie depicts slavery and being a Tarantino movie, there is plenty of violence involved. At no point does it even hint that slavery is “right”. So really it all comes back to the word “nigger”. I think it’s common knowledge the word will have been used and most likely as copiously as it is in the movie. Racist? No, move on.
So with its long run time and undisciplined story is it still worth watching? Most certainly. There are the quintessential Tarantino scenes with tension and visual flare. Fine acting and the expected violence. Just make sure you unburden your bladder before you start watching. 😉