26 Dec 2012

‘Django Unchained’ – what’d you think?

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Apparently I’m kind of weird: I’ve never been to the movies on Christmas day until yesterday.

Django-UnchainedI don’t know, Christmas to me has always been about staying home and being with family – no matter what good movies are premiering. But last night I went to see “Django Unchained,” the new Tarantino, which was also a first for me: I’m pretty sure that’s the first Tarantino film I’ve seen from start to finish. Yeah, I know.

I’ve seen bits and pieces of nearly all of his films and enjoyed what I saw. But for a Tarantino newbie, I loved “Django.”

The film tells the story of a slave, Django (Jamie Foxx), who is purchased and given his freedom by a bounty hunter, Schultz (Christoph Waltz). The pair strike a deal: if Django will join Schultz on his bounty hunting jobs, they’ll travel to Chickasaw County, Miss., and purchase Django’s wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), from the cruel Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).

It’s a Tarantino movie, so yes, there’s lots of shooting, lots of blood and lots of cursing (including plenty of disgusting racial slurs, spewed by both black and white actors). But Tarantino’s engaging story prevails, and I was almost never bored. In fact, I spent much of the movie cheering on Django as he killed off some awful slave owners and their hateful pals.

I’m probably the only person to cry during “Django,” just because sometimes I’m a bit too tender-hearted. The slaves’ abuse – especially the horror and humiliation faced by Broomhilda – was brutal and difficult to watch. But maybe that’s the point, and that’s what makes it so fun to root for Django as he gets his revenge.

The excellent cast and music are what really makes “Django” great. Everyone was top form, and the soundtrack is diverse and really adds something to the action on the screen.

All in all, I enjoyed it. And I’ll argue that this movie is, above all else, a love story – you don’t meet many characters who’d go through everything Django goes through, all in the name of love. Of course, you don’t always see that much blood and guts in a love story, either – especially not on Christmas day.

Did you see it? What did you think?