I’ve delayed watching Django Unchained for a few weeks, mostly because it is 3 hours long and I struggle to sit for that long in the cinema, no matter what film I’m watching!
Let me start by saying I’m a big fan of Quentin Tarantino. He’s obviously a smart guy. I like the dialog in his films. He always does interesting things with his characters. I think he’s got a good eye as a director. I kinda like the extreme nature of many of his films. Having said all that I really don’t know what I think about Django Unchained.
So the bullet points that should make me love this film are:
- The dialog is what you would expect from QT.
- The characters are interesting, as you would expect from QT.
- It looks great. Or to put it another way, it looks bad when it is meant to look bad and great when it is meant to look great.
- It is extremely violent at times.
- It has some genuinely funny scenes.
Where I struggle is the racism in the film. Now as I’ve said before, Quentin Tarantino is a smart guy, so I think my reaction to this is what he intended. As well as the obviously funny scenes, there are some “comedy” scenes that I think will draw differing reactions depending your attitudes in this area, kinda like the following:
- If you are a racist you will find them hilarious and be falling off your seat laughing, before renewing your subscription to the British National Party, or the equivalent right-wing racist organization in your country!
- If you are kind-of oblivious to race issues you may find them mildly amusing, or maybe not even notice them.
- If you are sensitive to racism, in whatever form it is presented, you will find them very hard work.
I think this may well be the genius of this film, but ultimately it is what makes me uncomfortable about this film.
It’s a great piece of work. Do I think you need to see it? Yes. Do I think you will enjoy it? I hope you don’t “enjoy” it, but I hope you see its value. Will I ever watch it again? I don’t think so.