Thoughts on Django Unchained

Warning: Spoilers for Django Unchained

Exceptional – that’s pretty much the only way I can describe Django Unchained. I had to wait until it came out on VOD, no matter how much I wanted to see the latest Quentin Tarantino movie, but it was worth the wait. Tarantino’s take on the Spaghetti western is like no other I’ve seen. You can see every technique he’s used in previous movies, all coming together for this film.

I watched the movie with my wife and teenage son, and all of us enjoyed it thoroughly. The only comment even approaching negative was about the length. 2 hours 45 minutes is a long movie to sit through, but the occasional movie is worth it. As a general principle, I think films should be 90 minutes long. It’s enough time to tell a decent story and not overstay your welcome. Very few movies need much more time than that.

This movie has been accused of racism, but I just don’t see it. Other than one character, all of the white people in this film are portrayed as ignorant jackasses. Frankly, the fighting scene when we first meet Candie made me angry at the white people in the movie all over again.

I’m not American, and I’m not black, so maybe I just don’t understand. For me, racism just seems like the silliest of all concepts. Hating someone because of the melanin content of their skin, or lack thereof… well, I just don’t get it.

Returning to the movie, though: While watching this movie, I was struck at how much Tarantino is like Pixar. Both take a long time to make a movie. Both have a story that’s obviously been worked through a lot. As a writer, I think I can recognise when someone has gone, “Close enough” and when someone has thrown out entire drafts and started from scratch until it was perfect.

So far, both Pixar and Tarantino have only made one movie that I’ve seen that wasn’t excellent, in my opinion. Pixar with Cars and Tarantino with Inglorious Basterds. Both times as well, I’ve understood that it’s more my problem than the films themselves. Cars was just aimed younger than other Pixar movies. Inglorious Basterds was too choppy. At the time, I described it as a five star movie and a four star movie fighting for screen time.

We see a movie a week, every Friday. Most of which I’ll never watch again. Django Unchained, however, I can see returning to in a couple of years.

Finally, my ranking of QT films (Completely my opinion):

  1. Reservoir Dogs
  2. Jackie Brown
  3. Kill Bill: Vol. 2
  4. Django Unchained
  5. Kill Bill Vol. 1
  6. Pulp Fiction
  7. Death Proof
  8. Inglorious Basterds


 




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2 thoughts on “Thoughts on Django Unchained

  1. Racism tends to be a big issue in America because of the generations of people who were taught to be prejudiced. Its interesting that you’ve put Pulp Fiction so far down on the list! Behind Jackie brown. I’d love to hear your reasoning behind that as I’m also a big Tarantino fan and my list would be a little different.

    • Hi Cain. Pulp Fiction was good, but it just seemed a bit too safe, too trying to be cool. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a four star movie, it’s just that the others are five star movies.

      I know a lot of people didn’t like Jackie Brown as much as I did. I guess I didn’t mind the slower pace and I thought the story was interesting. I also loved the whole asthetic of it.

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