Rave: Django Unchained

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, chances are you’re likely going to go to the movies over the holidays. (Hey, everyone needs a break from the fam jams, amiright?) Fortunately, Christmas Day has become the day for studios to bust out the year’s most anticipated movies. This year’s offerings include Les Miserables (!!!) and Django Unchained

We were lucky enough to be invited to an advance screening of Quentin Tarantino’s latest, with the venerable director in the audience, no less. While we didn’t love this film as much as Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained certainly makes for some interesting counter-programming to the normal holiday fare. Set in the American South, two years before the Civil War when slavery ran rampant, Django Unchained stars Jamie Foxx as Django, a slave who crosses paths with German-born bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz). Schultz and Django pair up, initially to capture the murderous Brittle Brothers, and then as a bounty hunting duo. While developing his vital hunting skills, Django remains focused on his goal of finding and rescuing his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington). Their search ultimately leads them to Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), the proprietor of “Candyland,” an infamous plantation. 

Now that we’ve given you the overview, we’d like to share some important notes on Django:  

Be prepared to hear the “n word”. A lot. 
Django features a lot of cursing and violence. While generally this is par for the course with Tarantino, this time around the violence is predominantly directed towards the black characters and involves numerous examples of degradation and abuse. There are a few scenes that are very uncomfortable to watch and stayed with us long after leaving the theatre. The characters also use the “N word” quite liberally. As in, over a 100 times. We’re not passing judgement one way or the other, but it’s fair warning before heading into the theatre. 

No Jack Dawson here, ma’am.
With two decades of films under his belt, Leonardo DiCaprio is a familiar presence on the silver screen. His recent work has served to sever ties to the “heartthrob” label that’s been tied to Leo since Romeo + Juliet and Titanic. With Django‘s Calvin Candie, Leo is playing his most  villainous candidate to date. A Southern plantation owner, Calvin Candie is indulgent and despicable. His hobbies include pitting slaves against each other in fights to the death (a practice known as mandingo fighting). A real charmer, for sure. 

Welcome to Rick Ross’ Wild West.
Django Unchained is Tarantino’s stab at a Spaghetti Western, and the soundtrack involves several themes from spaghetti western music king-pin Ennio Morricone. What sets the soundtrack apart though, are the contributions from hip hop and R&B legends such as John Legend, 2Pac and James Brown. The set also includes a new track by Rick Ross called “100 Black Coffins”, which rumour has it may be up for an Academy Award nom for Best Song. In any case, the soundtrack is well worth a listen!

Thanks again goes to Alliance Films for inviting us to the screening. All images in the post are courtesy of Alliance Films.