This weekend I saw the much talked about awards season film about slavery. No, not Spielberg’s Lincoln. You know, the other one… from the “other” master of historical epics who re-wrote world war two a few years back. (Yes, I am being facetious).
For a long time growing up, Pulp Fiction was my favourite movie. I’m still very partial to Reservoir Dogs. Death Proof was terrible. I consider myself a fan of Tarantino’s movies, but not a fan of the man himself. His egotistical nature grates me.
Django Unchained’s plot is as follows: Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) is a bounty hunter in the search of certain bounty, the Brittle Brothers. He comes across Django (Jamie Foxx), a slave, who can help him identify the Brittle Brothers. So Schultz and Django come to an agreement, Django helps Schultz get the Brittle Brothers, and Schutz will help Django to find and rescue his wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington).
There is something about Tarantino’s films that I cannot take seriously. For me, watching a Tarantino movie is like watching Glee or listening to a Britney Spears song. It’s all surface and no substance. Visually and viscerally appealing, full of style and glitz, but lacking real nourishment. The film contains snappy dialogue and great visuals as a Tarantino fan would expect. It is full of kitsch camera work and visual punches backed up with a great soundtrack.
It is brutally violent – I averted my eyes in many scenes. Despite this, the film did not make me think deeply about the social implications of slavery. It made me feel uncomfortable in its depictions of violence, in the way that a good exploitation film does. I’m not sure that this movie is as socially important as Tarantino himself takes credit for.
This film’s main problem is that it lags – it takes far too long to resolve itself. It could comfortably lose 30 minutes without damaging the narrative.
I take it for what it is, two and a half hours of entertainment on a Sunday afternoon. Or, as the New Yorker so kindly puts it, a “crap masterpiece”.