The news of the day is the Oscar nominations will be released Thursday and “Texas Chainsaw 3D” beat “Django Unchained” to be No. 1 at the box office last weekend.
Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised, but I was coming down from having just seen Quentin Tarantino’s film when I heard the news.
I’m over it now and just want to talk about Django!
Tarantino fans won’t have trouble liking something, if not everything, about the film. The cast, acting, music, effects and length are all epic.
I knew the film would be a long one before watching, but that didn’t impact my viewing experience.
Where to begin?
Jamie Foxx is Django (Tarantino reportedly wanted to cast Will Smith), a slave freed by Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) about two years before the Civil War.
Schultz is a dentist (bounty hunter) looking for three men who only Django knows and can help him find. The two start a journey across the south to find the men and ultimately save Django’s wife Broomhilda from slavery.
Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) is found at the plantation of evil and slightly flamboyant Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).
The web of characters and stories Tarantino pulled together, even though he used nearly three hours, is impressive to me.
It’s consistent with his style, which is why fans will be on board, but I don’t know how new audiences are going to take to the film.
I recommend it, of course, as long as people have an open mind and can see the big picture.
Everyone in the theater may be laughing at one minute and covering their eyes during the violent scenes the next.
Tarantino has a knack for all things gore (“Kill Bill: Vol. 1,” “Kill Bill: Vol. 2,” “Pulp Fiction,” etc.) while being able to show the true emotion and evil that leads to the most hurtful violence caused by his characters.
He’s also big on revenge, which Django is seeking the most and on many levels.
Basically, be prepared for so much blood splatter and bodies that it’s not even realistic and an equal mix of scenes portraying true fear caused by the rivalry in the south.
One criticism I heard about the film is, like “Inglourious Basterds,” it should have ended earlier and perhaps in a different way.
Tarantino tricks the viewer into thinking the film is over at least once. Maybe I am in the he-can-do-no-wrong fan club, but I didn’t mind the trickery, or the ending.
It doesn’t end well for some, but there is a bit of light at the conclusion to help the viewer erase some of the darker moments.
Tarantino, like Wes Anderson, is a true individual in what he creates and I appreciate that the most.
He also brings out the best in his actors, which reminds me I need to mention Samuel L. Jackson’s brilliant performance.
Leonardo takes the (white) cake as Calvin Candie and Foxx certainly excels as Django. I wonder about Will Smith, or anyone else, in that lead role. As the critics said on Slate’s Spoiler Specials (you can find the podcast on iTunes), Django would have been a different movie without Foxx or any of the chosen actors.
I just hope there is more from Tarantino and he continues to cast his favorites and newcomers.
“Gentlemen, you had my curiosity. But now, you have my attention.”