[Review] Django Unchained
Stylistically, “Django Unchained,” stays true to the quality of the Spaghetti Western – incorporating more action and violence than the traditional Hollywood Western – as well as writer and director, Quentin Tarantino’s distinctive style. However, Django Unchained’s greatest glory may be the fact that it combines two distinct parts of American history – slavery and the domination of the “Wild West” – and makes them one. Most people tend to think of the times of “cowboys and Indians” and notorious American outlaws such Jesse James , as existing separately or coming after the end of the Civil War. However, in “Django Unchained,” it becomes apparent that while “white folks” were pillaging and exploiting black bodies in the South, their kin on the west of the Mississippi River were running rampant, and raping and pillaging the Native Americans, townships and wild grasslands on the other side.
What is also remarkable about Django Unchained is that no ugly stone of American history as it relates to slavery is left unturned. It deals with each and every atrocity head-on with harsh honesty and reflection. As in the case of the Ku Klux Klan, Tarantino uses this opportunity to make a mockery of the white bed sheets that have long been infamous staples of the secretive hate group. While the audience may laugh at the scenario that occurs after the group sets their vengeful sights on Django and his partner, they also remember its grim history and the stark realities of blind hate.
Similarly, Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Calvin Candie – the wicked proprietor of the “Candyland” plantation where Broomhilda is being held – is yet another dark shadow of American history. In Tarantino’s own words, Candie is “a Caligula; a boy emperor.”
“His daddy’s daddy’s daddy started a cotton business and his daddy’s daddy continued it and made it profitable, and his daddy made it even more profitable,” said Tarantino. “He’s the petulant boy prince. He’s Louis XIV in Versailles.”