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‘Django’ might ruffle some feathers

One may not know exactly what to expect upon entering the movie theatre to watch Quentin Tarantino’s latest project, “Django Unchained”. But if one were to use his previous films as an indication, one would almost certainly know the film isn’t a deeply-moving masterpiece.

Tarantino is best known for his taste in creating movies inspired by styles of film to include grindhouse (“Deathproof,” 2007), Blaxploitation (“Jackie Brown,” 1997) and kung fu (“Kill Bill,” 2003, 2004). He’s won many industry awards and is widely viewed as “the single most influential director of his generation,” according to Peter Bogdonavich, a long-time veteran in the film industry. He even says that “Unchained”may very well be Tarantino’s best film to date. Professional critics and fans alike are already raving about the movie, which is expected to grab a few major awards.

Did Mr. Bogdonavich see a different movie? Did audience members miss the memo?

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“Unchained” is unapologetically indiscriminatory, as in it viewers from all backgrounds will surely find something that offends them, whether it be repeated racial slurs in every other scene (literally), blatant misogyny or a good old-fashioned Uncle Tom character, humorously played by Samuel L. Jackson.

Jamie Foxx plays a slave by the name of Django Freeman (“the D is silent,” the character explains in the film) who teams up with a smooth-talking bounty-hunter named Dr. King Shultz (Christoph Waltz) as they make their way up to Calvin J. Candie’s plantation (Leonardo DiCaprio) to save Django’s enslaved wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington). But of course, a Tarantino movie wouldn’t be a Tarantino movie if there were no bloodshed involved!

It is because of the nonstop gruesome bloodbath during this three-hour-long film that makes the whole thing unravel in front of the eyes of many viewers. Recently, Spike Lee has publicly denounced Tarantino’s film, telling reporters it’s disrespectful to his ancestors and he will not watch it. While the racial slurs were undoubtedly abundant and at times overused and overexaggerated, perhaps in true Tarantino form one might say, it isn’t the main reason viewers should not enjoy the film. The whip marks on the backs of slaves, the outright condescending and disturbing language the whites used while they talked to blacks – all of these scenes, while sometimes uncomfortable to watch, will probably not be the reasons for audiences everywhere to dislike the film.

It will most likely be the level of appalling and graphic violence from scene to scene, rarely giving squeamish audience members to recoup from the bloodshed witnessed just a split second before the next one, that will most likely cause viewers to speak of their disdain for the movie.

Tarantino is certainly ‘unchained,’ in every way possible in this film, and if one is a diehard fan, this is right up his or her alley; otherwise, audience members should brace themselves for something as distasteful as it is exciting.

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