Ladies and gentlemen, Quentin Tarantino has done it again; in a very new, very different, still very Tarantino way.
Set in the south in the late 1800’s, Django (Jamie Foxx) is the story of a slave who is separated from his wife. His path crosses with a white bounty hunter named Dr. King Shultz (Christoph Waltz) who takes Django under his wing as an apprentice. Schultz seeks out the South’s most wanted criminals with Djanjo by his side, although Django’s sole motivation – even though killing murderous, racist white men is enjoyable – is to be reunited with his wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington).
What impacted me most was the artistic approach by Tarantino as well as his honest portrayal of racism in the deep south at the time. Yes, Quentin Tarantino is known for liberal use of the N-word in his work. But please, allow me the pleasure of repeating myself……this is the late 1800’s in the deep South. Mississippi South. I think it would be safe to say he couldn’t have overused the word. It was alarmingly transparent.
Another absolute delight is the commitment shown by each actor to their role and to Tarantino’s vision for the overall project. In one scene, Leonardo DiCaprio, playing plantation owner Calvin Candie, in an impassioned rant cuts himself when he slams his hand on the table. His hand rises back into frame bloodied. This, however, was no squib. Calvin Candie was not bleeding. Leonardo was. Yet, he didn’t stop and neither did the tape.
Samuel L. Jackson played a stand-out role as Stephen, the house hand at Candie’s plantation. This was the house negro Malcolm X talked about. When the field negros got out of line, Stephen got them back in check. When his master was sick, he was sick. He LOVED his master. And he HATED negros, especially smart mouth negros like Django. In fact, I’m pretty sure he used the N-word more than any other character in the film.
At the end of it all, Django is a love story. Make no mistake though, this film was approached by cast and crew as a piece of art. Fine art, at that.
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