On Tarantino’s Django Unchained

Posted by David Konow

Django Unchained - Qunentin Tarantino’s next film - is slated for a Christmas day 2012 release.

Several people close to Tarantino claim this film examines racism and slavery in a way that’s never been done before. And of course, anything Tarantino does is usually hyped up on the level of the second coming of Lawrence of Arabia.

On Tarantino’s Django UnchainedIndiewire also quoted Rie Rasmussen, an actress and filmmaker who is close to Tarantino, as saying if Django doesn’t change the face of movies, "then Hollywood is truly motherf*ckin’ racist." 

And again, hyperbole is in Tarantino’s blood, and it’s clearly run off on other people around him as well.

Will this movie really revolutionize Hollywood? What do you think? Of course not! Puh-leeeze! But will it be a good movie? As someone who may or may not have read the script, I’d be willing to say yes.

The script for Django Unchained, like any new Tarantino screenplay, leaked fairly quickly after it was finished, and already there’ve been reviews of it all over the ‘Net, which we wrote about on TG previously. 

Opinions are polarized, as they often are with Tarantino’s work, and I’m sure this is how people will react to the finished film. As with any other Tarantino movie, if you’re already a fan, I don’t see why you wouldn’t like it, but if you don’t like his movies, I don’t think this will win you over.

While to me it doesn’t say anything that deep about race relations, in pure storytelling terms it’s an entertaining yarn, and it has some of Tarantino’s best character development to date. Not with all the characters mind you, some will need the right actors to bring them to life, but there are definitely some great roles in Django, and at least one role that will potentially steal the show. (I won't say which character, but with the actor playing it, it's definitely gonna pack a wallop).

Although it’s lengthy, nearly 170 pages, which will equal a three hour movie unless it’s cut down, it hooks you in like a good book, and you can see the movie pretty clearly in your mind when you read it. (It’s also interesting to see a modern day screenwriter still working from a word processor.

Tarantino is notoriously anti-technology). 

Is the N bomb dropped repeatedly? Yes, but the story is more matter of fact about racism, slavery, and racial cruelty than gratuitous or exploitive.There’s an old saying that if it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage, and if you don’t have  a good script going in, it’s not gonna make a good movie. 

Will Django Unchained cure cancer? No. But if Tarantino sticks with his script and doesn’t wander too far from it, it should deliver the goods next Christmas.