According to my friend Hannah, I love slavery. I wrote a 9000 words writing project on it for my dissertation. Have researched from Tubman to Douglass, Equiano to Garrison, Truth to Turner. On my list of favourite books are Toni Morrison's Beloved and Harriet Jacob's Life of a Slave Girl. The old saying of you need to know where you've come from to get where you're going is true and whether I like it or not, slavery is part of my history.
Sometimes there is a hype, you try not to get on it but curiosity gets the better of you and you get on it anyway. There has been so much talk surrounding Django Unchained, a lot of it praise, some of it controversial but nothing unexpected considering its topic. Slavery.
So what did I think of the movie?
I loved it, but it wasn't without it's flaws.
I had a certain expectation because of the topic, but it wasn't what I expected at all. Never in my life did I think I'd laugh at a movie about slavery. I've seen Roots and believe me it is no laughing matter, but Tarantino did something different. He made it a vengeance and love story, that was funny in parts. I won't give too much away just in case you haven't seen it yet but I want to find a man who will literally put his life on the line for me. Django...the D is silent (Jamie Foxx) did this for his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) who had been sold to another plantation, and it was no easy feat. She was Candie's (Leonardo DiCaprio) property and he could do with her as he pleased. Long story short, there was a lot of fighting, I covered my eyes in parts, and the ending was uplifting, although it will probably be the first and last 18 I watch at the cinema.
Kerry Washington, I may be being biased because I am loving her work at the moment, not only stunning but a great actress, really stepped up since Save the Last Dance.
Jamie Foxx, he is a great actor. I forget he is the same singer in his music videos as he truly makes me believe.
Dr Shultz, the German who took Django under his wing, seeing him as a person not and not his property. Their friendship and his actions are heartwarming.
The N word, this has been the most controversial part of the movie, apparently Tarantino uses it a lot in his films. I would have been offended if he didn't use it. What do people think black people were called back then? It made me wince at times as it is a word I detest and it is always hard to hear, even in songs, but it also sparked an emotion. When questioned Tarantino said “I don’t want it to be easy to digest. I want it to be a big, gigantic boulder, a jagged pill and you have no water.” It certainly was.
Samuel L Jackson, what the Americans call an Uncle Tom character. Dark. Sadistic. Brilliant.
|Image courtesy of Wikipedia|
Now to the parts I didn't like...
There were dark slaves 'working' in Candie's house. It threw me a bit because with all the self esteem issues I have had with been darker and the many documentaries I have watched, even Tyra has done a show on it, this seemed to contradict what is known about darker skinned slaves working the field. These issues all date back to slavery (the brown paperbag test) that lighter skinned black people were considered 'gentler, kinder, more handsome, smarter, and more delicate' therefore received the better jobs. There was also the black slave dressed in a maids uniform who giggled a lot. Please explain her purpose.
Rick Ross song??? I nearly fell out my seat. The audience laughed but I think I missed the point. After looking further into this I now know it is called 100 Black Coffins, which does make sense but what this connoted to me was something different entirely. Here I was watching a movie about black people's struggles and sufferings albeit more lighthearted than what I was used to and they were playing a song by a black artist who has a song called 'F**k with your shoes on.' I've probably read too much into it but is this what my ancestors fought for? Dumbfounded.
The only two things out of a 3 hour film that I didn't like, says a lot. All in all it was an amazing film, one that I will watch again, and again. If you are expecting it to detail an accurate account of how slavery went down, then don't watch. It is a Tarantino movie after all.
So I kind of did give it away, sorry. Have you seen it yet? What are your thoughts?