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“Django” is unchained, both the stars and the violence

Charlie Connelly, Staff Reporter

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Just prior to the Civil War, the likelihood of two men of the opposite race joining forces to achieve their goals would simply appear unfeasible. Society’s view of the idea would purely unheard of.  However, when the ambitions of two very skilled men are at their peak, color is of no issue. The valid concern at hand is accomplishing what they set out to achieve. Although both men are under a different set of circumstances, with the help of each other, their desires can ultimately fuel each other to success.

In Quentin Tarantino’s latest gory timepiece Django Unchained, German bounty hunter Dr. King Shultz (Christoph Waltz) travels to America on a hunt to kill the notorious outlaw Brittle brothers. However, through his treacherous endeavor, Shultz joins forces with freed slave turned competent hunter Django (Jamie Foxx). Once acquainted, Django lends his set of skills to Shultz and assists him in tracking down the Brittle brothers.

From then on the two become partners in killing some of the most sought after crooks of the south. Django though has additional aspirations as he seeks to rescue his enslaved wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) from the coldblooded owner of the “Candyland” plantation, Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). No matter the difficulty of the task at hand, Django and Shultz stick together in doing what they do best: taking down an enemy. No matter the difficulty and bloodshed that may bring, if it is to achieve what they’re set out to do, then they will do whatever it takes.

To put it in simple terms, there are many things to be loved and respected about Django Unchained, but there are also components of the film that really lacked the luster I was hoping for. With any blockbuster that hits the big screen, there will always hype around it and in the case of Django Unchained, the hype was a little too high for what the film actually delivered. Personally, a film is always good when you have little to no prior knowledge of its exceptional underlying qualities, so that when you watch it you are happy with what you thought you were going to see. With Django, the hype was truly too high and it did not live up to what I had hoped for.

Another feature of the movie that I did not fall in love with was the brutality that it presented. I knew well going into seeing the movie that Tarantino is famous for violence, but I really didn’t expect it to the extent it had. I appreciate gore in movies when it is necessary, but in this case I think the gore overshadowed what could have been a much better film had there not been so much brutality on screen.

Although there were facets of the film that failed to live up to the superior expectations I had, there were still many qualities the film encompassed that I really enjoyed as a viewer. For starters, the main thing I look for going into a movie is a quality plot that can interest me and Django did that perfectly. The story was extremely well done, and setting aside the fact that there was a plethora of violence, the storyline was excellent. It should be noted that at times the movie was slow, and I think that has to do partly with it being a timepiece but nevertheless, it was at times slow in progressing.

Another quality of the movie that I really appreciated was the immaculate cast that it possessed. Whenever you have a film that is filled with A-listers and Academy Award winners, you know it is going to be great. Jamie Foxx, who won an Academy Award for his role in the movie “Ray”, stole the show. He empowered virtually every scene that he was in and whenever an actor can have that much presence and overall aura, you know he had a commendable performance.

Foxx was spectacular but without a doubt, Christoph Waltz as Dr. Shultz was a very close second. The way he collaborated with Foxx onscreen was amazing and the fact that they both looked so comfortable working with each other, made for very smooth interactions between the two on screen. Of the main characters though, the one I hated the most (in a good way) was Calvin Candie, played superbly by Leonardo DiCaprio. There are many things that could be said about DiCaprio, but to put it into finite words, this role just further shows why he is considered one of the best actors of our, if not any, generation. As Candie, DiCaprio did a phenomenal job of really fueling anger and overall cruelty, something that I have never really seen him play before.

Ultimately, Django Unchained had its fair share of ups as well as its fair share of downs. Being nominated for Best Picture, Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Best Supporting Actor (Christoph Waltz), I definitely see this film being in serious contention for all four nods it is up for. The Academy Awards are just around the corner and affiliates of Django Unchained should  without a doubt be none other than thrilled.

About the Writer
Charlie Connelly, Staff Reporter
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Charlie is a Senior at RB and this is his second year as a part of the Clarion staff. Being very interested in the field of writing and interviews, Charlie couldn’t be more excited to see what this year will have to offer in Clarion. While he isn’t writing for the Clarion, in his spare time he additionally writes for the Chicago Tribune’s teen publication “the Mash”, which is distributed once a month to schools all throughout the Chicagoland area.

As for extracurriculars, Charlie is involved in Best Buddies, AST (Association of Students for Tolerance), and the baseball program. Although he decided not to tryout for the team last year, he opted to help Noah Wiza manage the Sophomore team and couldn’t have been happier to have made that decision and will continue to manage in the Spring. This senior year has a lot to offer Charlie and he is ultimately excited to simply soak it all in and take advantage of all the great things he can before college rolls around next Fall. As for college plans he is currently undecided but wishes to stay in the area, possibly at UIC or Columbia.

Charlie Connelly can be contacted at [email protected].

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“Django” is unchained, both the stars and the violence