Well, I just saw Django Unchained. I’m still digesting it, which is difficult as the movie is practically 3 hours. I suppose I’ll start with that, the length. Lincoln, which was a biopic, was shorter than this unedited Quentin Tarantino wet dream. Still, that’s not my main problem with the film. I will say, Django did maintain my interest for 2 hours and 45 minutes… which is impressive.
I will preface my following critique by applauding the movie. It’s well shot and well acted. It’s even entertaining. What more could you what? Well, Tarantino could have supplied Django with some morals. To explain, I will need to summarize the plot a bit. In Django, the titular character, Django, is a black slave. He’s freed by the bounty hunter, Dr. King Schultz, and he proceeds to work for him, killing white criminals. Later, Django, with help from Schultz, tries to rescue his wife. I will say, Django and Schultz’s friendship is wonderful and heartfelt. The problem is that Django, in his quest for his love, becomes the thing he hates.
Django literally lets a pack of dogs eat a black slave alive, just so that he can get his wife back. This scene is so messed up. The act itself is heinous, but the worst part is that Tarantino believes his audience will still think Django is doing the right thing. He’s not. There’s a name for toeing the line just so your family is kept safe: It’s the Nuremberg defense. It’s so sad because earlier in the film, Schultz tells Django an old myth of a hero who came to save his beloved from a dragon. Well, Django becomes that dragon.
While I’m at it, let me lament the fact that Tarantino follows one rule in filmmaking: shock the audience. I’m so damn tired of him showing me gruesome scenes just so the audience might think “Wow, Quentin Tarantino is so edgy.” If I saw one more ridiculous geyser of blood, I would have just stood up and laughed at the film. Django turns the serious topic of slavery into a cartoon or comic book.
This might seem like a non sequitur, but the movie made me really think about God. Honestly, the emptiness of this film’s moral landscape made me again realize that we need a perfect judge. We need a flawless creator. We need a God who is supremely good and who loves us completely. Django’s half baked attempt at making things right is not good enough. That’s because we as humans aren’t good enough. We need Jesus.
I tried to like Django, really I did. I just couldn’t. I can’t recommend it to anyone. It’s a slickly produced, bad movie. See The Hobbit instead.