Monday, April 28, 2014

Django Unchained (2012)

Today's film is Django Unchained.  It's a typical Quentin Tarantino film, that ends in bloody, explosive violence.  I also learned that Tarantino is definitely not a historian.

The film is entirely too long and has barely any character growth or development.  The only exception is Jamie Foxx, who plays Django, a freed slave turned bounty hunter who is seeking to rescue his wife from a cruel plantation owner.

They go bounty hunting for awhile and all is good.  But I remember that this is a Tarantino film and am like, where's the blood bath?  Well it is coming.  Out of nowhere it comes! Followed by revenge! and explosions! Yeah!!

One important thing I try to remember when watching these films is that they are not supposed to be accurate.  Tarantino doesn't specialize in realistic historical fiction, his films stretch the boundaries of time, and shows that people are the same no matter what time period they live in.  For example, we know that Hitler was not gunned down in a theater by two Americans, but we accept it in the universe of Tarantino's films.  It's the same way with this film.  Would a Calvin Candie in this universe drink a tropical drink in a coconut through a plastic straw? No, because it didn't exist in the 1850's (the beginning of the film states it takes place two years before the Civil War).  There also were no cigarette holders until the 20th century. It works because he has the personality that calls for a fancy cigarette holder and exotic tropical drink, because it exemplifies his lavish lifestyle.  So, we accept it. Did Django wear sunglasses?  No, they didn't gain popularity in that style until the twentieth century, but he looks so cool wearing them, so it works.  Calvin compares one slave to a teddy bear, despite the fact they're named after Theodore Roosevelt, who was elected in 1904.

These films take place in a completely different universe than ours, one with lots of violence and one where the geography is apparently different.  Last time I went to Gatlinburg, there were mountains everywhere and wasn't good for growing cotton.  But in the film there are giant plantations there.

Finally, Django gets his revenge via bloodbath and an amazing explosion.  With dynamite.  Despite the fact that it wasn't patented until 1867.  But he looks really cool doing it.  Overall, the film is fun and has a interesting take on historical happenings, but is just way too long.  I will give this film a 7/10.

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