When a man loves a woman, he will move heaven and earth to be with her. But, when a man loves a woman and he is an American slave, locked in chains and considered three-fifths of a man, that man can’t move a thing, only the remnants of an imagination that hadn’t been beat out of him.
When that slave is the main character of a historically fictional tale at the hands of Director Quentin Tarrantino, however, said slave can be a sunglasses wearing, electric blue suit rocking, slave-owner shooting freeman on a horse.
That, my friends, is Django Unchained. http://unchainedmovie.com/
I went to see the movie not knowing what to expect. Some folks were raving about the nearly three-hour film, while some African American celebrities have criticized it, saying that slavery should not be made into a Spaghetti Western, that in the film the n-word is used way too much and even that Tarrantino shouldn’t be allowed to tell this story.
Well, I don’t think you can put the responsibility of capturing the full breadth of the slavery experience on one person; it is too ugly, damning, horrifying, every word in the dictionary and them some. And, I wish more African Americans would tell our stories. Not enough of us do. I applaud Tarrantino, though, for doing so until storytellers like me will get up and pen our tales.
As far as the use of the n-word in a film about slavery, come on. That was commonplace. Slaves were not addressed by their names. They were considered property. N-word, in the eyes of the slave owners, was their name.
In true Tarrantino form, though, the movie has over-the-top blood and gore (Does blood really shoot several feet when a person is shot?). Slavery was bloody, no doubt, but when Tarrantino does it, it is almost cartoony. Jamie Foxx is at times unbelievably cool and suave for having just been a slave a short while beforehand. I took that all with a grain of salt, though. This story was from someone else’s imagination.
But, in short, I loved it.
Django never gave up hope that he could find his wife, Broomhilda, and hope in an American slave is a powerful, transcending thing. You are another man’s chattel, but you still have hope? Your wife was sold away to only God knows where, but you still have faith that you will hold her in your arms again? Wow.
I can’t think of many slave stories that tell of the love between a man and a woman and the irrevocable bond of marriage. It was inspiring.
And, Django, himself, was the stuff of which legends are made. There were moments I wanted to stand up in the theater and yell out, “Get em, Django!”
So, the takeaway is: go see Django and decide for yourself. It was horrifying, traumatizing, at times comical and beautiful all at once. I left feeling that even a master’s whip couldn’t tame the love one man had for his woman.