JETmag.com’s Digital Manager, Starrene Rhett Rocque, explains her reasons why Django Unchained is worth watching.
Quentin Tarantino’s latest film Django Unchainged, tells the story of Django (Jamie Foxx) a slave who is purchased by Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), a German dentist-turned-bounty hunter, who needs Django’s help identifying some suspects. Eventually, Django and Schultz develop a brotherly relationship and become a team. Schultz agrees to help Django find his wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), who was sold to another plantation, and give them both their freedom. Thus, the real quest begins.
I got to screen it and after months of anticipation and I wasn’t disappointed. Despite getting a chance to see it for free, I am going to pay to see it again because I loved it. Contrary to the description that the media and some naysayers are pushing, Django Unchained isn’t just about slavery. It’s about love. There’s the self-love that Django learns for himself, the bromance between Schulz and Django and ultimately Django’s undying love for his wife.
There are several reviews and breakdowns already circulating online that offer great analyses of the film so I’m going to keep it simple. Here are five reasons why I think you should see Django Unchained.
1. The Storylines
The media has placed this “movie about slavery spin on it,” but slavery actually isn’t the primary focus. Slavery is the backdrop and unfortunately, viewers will see some of the horrible truths about that terrible part in our history. However, Django Unchained is anti-victimization. Not only does Django get cleaned up and eventually becomes the leader of the dynamic duo, but he serves as an example to other slaves and White people as well, that Black people aren’t inferior and in fact, are capable of anything. There’s even a scene where Django turns the tables and whips a slave master who is preparing to whip a slave girl for dropping eggs. That scene, among several others where slave masters are getting what they deserve, was cathartic.
2. The Violence
People who are familiar with Quentin Tarantino flicks already know that violence is to be expected and I’m not going to sugar coat it. The violence is extremely graphic. There’s a “Mandingo Fighting” scene that viewers should especially brace themselves for. However, again, it was nice to see slave masters getting what they deserved. Yes, it’s fiction but it provides some real and necessary reminders of history.
3. The Love Story
Django was so in love with his wife that he would do anything for her. It’s rare that we see stories like this as ideas about love and marriage have changed drastically in the mainstream. Pop culture today pushes the idea of perpetually dating around and that marriage should be avoided, which obviously isn’t true. Django and Broomhilda were separated because they were caught living life as husband and wife. Sneaking in order to be a family was a reality for slaves because they weren’t allowed to marry or even commit to one person, and faced severe punishment as a result.
4. Slave Movies Always Depict Victimization
We all know that slavery was inhumane and the horrors that our ancestors endured could never be accurately captured. However, despite the horrors, there were also triumphs like slave rebellions, Harriet Tubman helping people escape through the Underground Railroad, the rise of Fredrick Douglass and more. These triumphs were never captured in film, a point brought up by Reggie Hudlin, who is a producer for Django Unchained (read our interview with him here). Even though Django Unchained is a fictionalized tale, it’s refreshing to see a Black hero sticking it to the man during a time in history when that was most important. Hopefully, this film can be the inspiration for real life accounts of heroism to start being told through film.
5. You’ll Laugh
Despite the heavy subject matter and the shoot-em-up-western element witty dialogue and quirky moments, like when the KKK is presented as a bumbling group of idiots who can’t even see through their hoods, will inspire a few chuckles.
Django Unchained is currently in theaters.
*Views and opinions are solely those of the author, who you can read more about here.