The Diva's review of
RatedDjango is the best movie of the year. Period Point Blank. I am not a Quentin Tarrentino Fan by any stretch of the imagination. He has to earn my praise. I've long had an issue with his gratuitous use of the N-Word. And if I'm honest that baggage made me a little cynical about the movie. I did walk out and briefly toyed with the thought that he made the movie just so his character could say it a zillion times. I swear the Nigga Per Minute rate was about 15.
That said context is everything, that’s probably how much they said it 150 years ago. It was like a Sergio Leone spaghetti western set in 1858. He and Jamie Foxx managed to make a black superhero out of a black slave. It’s tough to watch. It’s IN YOUR FACE brutality, but that is how it was back then. I think maybe people need to see that brutality. Maybe if black teens, no ANY teens, see the viciousness in which the word is used, they’ll stop using it as a pleasantry.
Jamie Foxx was amazing. He captured the soul of a slave who gets braver and braver as he realizes that he is a free man. You can see his transformation on the screen. Christoph Waltz as King might be one of my favorite characters, ever. I found it brilliant that the white person in the movie with the conscious and the soul and empathy and moral high ground was also the one who was a bounty hunter. He was a killer by happenstance and choice yet he could not stomach the inhumanity of slavery. In short, Django is a slave who is rescued/bought by Dr. King Shultz. King is a bounty hunter who wants to capture/kill 3 overseers and Django can identify them. Over the course of the movie we learn the Django’s wife; Bromhilda was sold off after the failed runaway they attempted. Django becomes Shultz’s partner in the Bounty Hunting business. And Vows to get his wife back.
When is Sam Jackson going to win an Oscar? I mean enough already! So yes his character, Stephen, was vile. He was the House man He only cares about keeping that house running and keeping his position safe. But after being on that plantation for 76 years, its more complex than that. Given his age he was born in the late 1700s can you imagine what he has seen and endured? This doesn’t excuse his behavior or make him likeable, but clearly he has worked hard . He has found longevity, no easy feat for a black man in 2012, let alone 1858. And oooooohhhh did I hate him. The evil look in his eyes and conniving smirk made me want to kick him in the balls. But that is a good thing! As an audience member I was emotionally invested in his failure and emotionally invested in Django’s success. I was sad when Things turn out poorly for King and happy when things turned out poorly for Leo Dicaprio’s hateful character. (I swear he really injured himself in the dinner table scene. He looked startled at all the blood. We cheered when our “hero’s” came out on top and boo’d and hissed when they didn’t. We gasped during the scenes of raw brutality and flinched with each crack of the whip, and finally, we laughed when appropriate. That by the way, was a smart move by Tarrantino. We needed to laugh to cleanse the pallet from all the violence we were witnessing. Speaking of laughing, there is a nude scene- fully nude. Django is butt naked and hanging upside down and my Bestie says, “ Those are Jamie Foxx’s hairy balls!” I HOLLERED. Aside from seeing Jamie’s Frank and Beans, that scene was classic because Walter Googin who I loved in “The Shield” and currently love in “Justified” gets to make us hate him all the more - again eliciting emotion from the audience. But I don’t want to spoil it for you.
He really pieced together an amazing film and an amazing cast. It reminded me of Sweet Sweet back bad asssss song and other films from the 70s because of the common theme of going up against the “man” and winning. And without a doubt Clint Eastwood's character the Man With No Name.
If I have a complaint it would be as I mentioned to my husband, I would have renamed Broomhilda to woman who screams and cries a lot. She was not weak at all, I think she tried to runaway at least 2 or 3 times and that took strength and fortitude, but I just wish she had stronger dialogue and more layers to her character. But I get it, this wasn’t completely her story. I also was struck by another female character, a white woman who worked on Candy plantation for was with the overseers and white folks. That was such a strange occupation for a woman back then, it was a little disconcerting to not have any explanation for her. But for all I know it was an homage to another film and I missed the reference.
I don’t know Tarrantino personally, nor have I ever met him, but I get him. I don’t always agree with his dialogue choices, but I tend to get him and understand his vision. We are cut from the same cloth in terms of what has cinematically influenced us. Now make no mistake about it, I can’t hold a candle to him when it comes to sheer movie geekdom and I’m not well versed in Asian film like he is, but when it comes to black films from the 70s? We could go toe to toe. But back on point. If this film doesn’t win *something* I’m going to march on Washington. It’s FAR stronger than “Lincoln” and “Zero Dark Thirty” and while I like ZDT, I think people are voting with their patriotism and not with their objectiveness. Same with Lincoln. Lincoln is good, but I can’t get over the fact that they made a movie about president and never even made a passing reference to his VP. I mean I think since he was assassinated and the VP became the president, a mention would have been nice Anyway I digress – again.
Look, I’m a realist. Despite the ENTIRE cast acting their asses off, they all can’t be nominated and 4 or 5 of them deserve it. We’ll have to wait until the Screen Actor’s Guild Noms come out to get a true sense. And while I don’t want them to cancel each other out, I’d love to see Jamie Foxx and Christoph (he really is underrated ) get Noms for Best Lead and Sam Jackson and Leo Dicaprio get Noms for Best supporting. I tell you what, if Sam Jackson finally gets an Oscar, I will fall out on the floor and start singing negro spirituals. I’d like to see Noms for Best Picture, Director and Screenplay. I’m not quite sure if Waltz has enough screen time for Lead, but 3 supporting noms in one category for the same film is unheard of if memory serves me.
This movie isn’t for everyone it is brutal and harsh. But if you can stomach it, you must see it. Best movie of the year!