Django Unchained, directed by Quentin Tarantino (2012)
Score: Steaming pile of rubbish.
Now I’m going to say a lot of impopular things. For instance, that I think Quentin Tarantino is one of the most overrated directors in history. I used to like his work a lot, in fact I’ve watched every single movie he has ever directed or written, except for Inglorious Basterds and the very minor ones.
He’s got a very distinct style, no one can deny that, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. See, what I dislike about his work is that he has not only refused to watch good movies, but he is proud of having terrible taste in cinema and his whole career is a homage to it. Not to say he’s the most unoriginal creator I’ve ever seen. Nothing’s new under the sun, some tropes we know and love are older than dirt, yada yada yada. Say what you will, Mr. Tarantino has made a living out of plagiarising awful movies, Pulp Fiction being the great exception, and parodying himself.
My big problem with Django unchained is that the plot is retarded and so are the characters. Wacky European goes around freeing slaves, fine by me. Recently freed slave wants to free his wife as well, good. Let’s save up some money by hunting some bounties, excellent idea. But then instead of going there, buying Broomhilda and then leaving for home, let’s trick that slaver bastard into thinking we want to buy a couple of Mandingo fighters in hopes that he will throw in what we actually want in the deal as an extra. What the fuck? Why? Because there would be no plot otherwise. Solution? Think up a better plot. Period.
So off they go. And they decide that Django, despite being too stupid to be alive (like everyone else in the movie, that was no racist remark) and completely unable to make up and sustain a lie, should pose as a black slaver and play badass, hurr durr. Even Calvin Candie’s sister, who is portrayed as an inbred airhead, can see through the charade. The dinner scene is the most atrocious thing I’ve seen in a long time. First of all, it’s shot like shit. It looks like a badly lit evening party recorded with a cheap home camera, everyone looks orange in it. Then, it makes absolutely no sense. We know it’s your wife, but please stop staring at her and drooling, you’re supposed to be an obnoxious bastard who enslaves his own people. You can look at her when you’re out of there. Besides, she’s standing behind him, how does he manage to be so obvious? And, funny German guy: we know the guy is despicable. You have come all the way here. You’ve been caught red-handed (which wouldn’t have happened if you had the slightest common sense), but the only thing you have to do is shake that human waste’s hand and walk away. Nah, you couldn’t. Better go berserk and slaughter everyone. Then the movie goes on for another half-hour for no reason at all. For having watched so many movies that’s a weird sense of timing and planning. Also look out for the least subtle use of symbolism ever: blood on white cotton, white walls, white things in general.
It has good things. Both Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson do very good jobs, at least with the roles they’ve been given. Christoph Waltz also did a good job but god knows why they gave him two Oscars in a row. The part with the KKK and Jonah Hill was actually funny, the only scene in the movie that was. I can’t say I thought Jamie Foxx’s acting was good, though. He kept staring around him wide-eyed, trying to look badass and failing at it. The character is very unsympathetic both for the bad writing and the not so good acting.
Leo DiCaprio apparently cut his hand shooting the dinner scene and never broke character, which was actually fascinating to watch, given that I knew it beforehand, and it’s probably the only thing people will remember twenty years from now of this shoddy work.
All in all, as all of Tarantino’s latest works, Django unchained is unwatchable.