The Critical Optimist

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Django Unchained

Django Unchained, starring Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz has been — like most Quentin Tarantino vehicles — extremely well recieved.  However, at this point in my moviewatching experience, I am positively Quentin Tarantinoed out.  It isn’t that I’ve tired of his style, I still think he’s a genius, but it seems that he is perfectly aware that most of the movie community sees him as a genius.

I fully expect a Tarantino movie to contain ample blood spattering and various over the top elements of cinema.  My qualm with Django Unchained is that it pushes the envelope of each of these elements.  The signature extended dialogue scene lasts for what must be about half an hour this time around, and is one of the most lethargically unneccesary scenes in the film.

I’m sure many people reading this are probably fans of Django Unchained, which is perfectly understandable.  It is certainly a well crafted film, with little to critique in the area of technical prowess; it is however, the philosophy behind this movie that I cannot quite stomach.  Tarantino has long been known for his excessive violence.  In his own words:

“Violence is one of the most fun things to watch.
This is where the problems (for me) really begin.  Like I mentioned before, Tarantino glorifies all things violent; I get it, its his thing.  What made me uncomfortable was the way he depicted slavery, particularly violence towards slaves.  He treats the violent mistreatment of coerced laborers the same way he treats a gunshot — leering unflinchingly at the despicable act.  I’m not of the camp that beleives Tarantino is a racist, but the neccesary divide between violent depiction and outright worship of torture is unpresent here.
This excerpt from one of my favorite critics Bob Hoose pretty much says it all
” …watching Django Unchained for this review, I was not much informed, edified or challenged in my thinking on the subject of slavery. I was beaten, battered and bludgeoned”
Quentin Tarantino remains a skilled filmmaker in my mind, and I have great respect for him.  However, his pretentiousness, and lack of sensitivity to delicate historical subject matter took away from what had the potential to be a great movie.

2 Comments

  1. A. G. Moore says:

    Refreshing interpretation. Critical, indeed–and on point, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

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