Django: More Than Just Another Slavery Movie

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Realizing Django’s a natural born killer that enjoys getting paid to kill white people, Schultz invites him to complete winter bounty-runs at season’s end promises to help him rescue his wife. It’s not until they locate Hildie at the infamous Candyland (random: yep I kept envisioning the children’s board game with every mention), the fourth largest plantation in Greenville, Mississippi, that the survival of the fittest is put to test. Django and Schultz’s run-in with Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), the charming, young and virile owner of Candyland and Stephen (Samuel l. Jackson), the Candie family’s hand-me-down house negro and grand puba of all Uncle Toms, proves to be a life-threating situation. Things get pretty darn messy during a business dinner gone awry with Candie Man, who masterfully charms and disarms the masquerading, dynamic duo upon realizing their true intentions. Clearly, Stephen isn’t cut from the I’m-my-brothers-keeper cloth as his conniving meddling commences, the overt loathing and convert envy he has for Django’s freedom, courage and pride manifests as treacherous backstabbing.

Albeit slavery is no laughing matter, Tarantino manges to poke fun as its brutal absurdity through verbal and nonverbal social commentary from Django’s Little-Boy-Blue-meets-Cap-‘N’-Crunch outfit commemorating his pending freedom and a botched KKK-raid led by Big Daddy. Surprisingly, the relationship between Django and Schultz never has that nauseating savior complex undertone of good-natured master helping his slave, but rather comradery between unstoppable partners in crime. Even the film and character’s nuances — Dr. Schultz mustache smoothing gesture; his horse bowing on cue; a bobbling gold-filled, tooth atop dentist carriage; servant-girls donning Disney Minnie Mouse fashions; the servants’ synchronized preparation of the dinner table and delivery of nervous head nods as well as the head-splitting, flesh-tearing bullets–are the cinematic idiosyncrasies that Tarantino owns like no other director and his loyalists devour. Couple that with mission impossible mayhem, Django’s bad boy posturing of whipping overseers, busting caps in racists, his infinite love for his woman, a Rick-Ross-Tupac Shakur-James-Brown-John-Legend laced soundtrack and “Django’s” not only the glorious, good-triumphs-evil tale of an unbridled, vigilante slave but the big screen atonement that many black folks have been secretly longing to see.

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