Given the irreverence that usually characterizes his style and the tone of his films, it is not surprising that Quentin Tarantino can get revisionist with history. Even as highly fictionalized original stories, historical re-enactment have become an axis in his recent careerwith the exception of ‘The Hateful Eight’ which was a pure exercise in camera and western genre.
Of course, he recovers history to subvert it, to deform it so that whoever considers that he should win wins, his particular form of revenge against those villains who prevailed, even temporarily. A boldness that others would not forgive, but Tarantino has managed to build his cinema in such a way that his films and the worlds he describes are observed with different eyes. Perhaps this is how one begins to understand that works like ‘The King Woman’ are crushed for their alleged lack of rigor, but not ‘Django Unchained’.
Gunslingers against the chains
This is not, of course, an invitation to lecture the director and the film for taking liberties. In fact, the best qualities of the tape come when it is most carried away by the revisionist passion and out of anger against issues such as slavery and prevailing racism. Tarantino manages to make a very entertaining movie with that that can already be seen on HBO Max (it can also be enjoyed on Netflix).
Jamie Foxx plays the Django that gives the show its title, a slave estranged from his wife who is rescued by a zany bounty hunter German played by Oscar winner Christoph Waltz. He promises him freedom in exchange for help, which he will take advantage of to try to save his beloved from the plantation of Leonardo DiCaprio’s cruel landowner.
The film never hides its intentions, oozing from its pores from the first minute the greasy oil of the spaghetti western that Tarantino reveres so much. He hits a real binge, making a immense collection of references that is a pleasure to catch (dedicating yourself to hunting them is almost as entertaining as watching the movie) but they do not distract from an action and revenge movie with the intention of denouncing.
‘Django Unchained’: greasy party
His most revised is reduced to the changes that he decides to introduce prior to the American Civil War, where the movement for the liberation of black slaves began to take place. Tarantino leaves his stamp, but always appears subservient to the exaltation of the genre of the West and its more festive side. That, together with his brown sense of humor, help make the film terribly funny and not completely fall apart when faced with dizzying slowdowns.
It is not normal for a film to survive such a convoluted structure and such an inflated duration, but ‘Django Unchained’ finds the right points of lightness so that the experience has a positive balance. Even without being one of his roundest films, it is remarkable and enjoyable to watch (Quentin doesn’t really have a bad movie), so this excuse is a good one to get it back. A film with which Tarantino was completely validated to change history.
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