I went to see the new Quentin Tarantino film "Django Unchained" this afternoon. I'll admit that I had zero interest in seeing this movie. Not being a male between the ages of 18-35, I don't fall in to the normal demographic that Mr. Tarantino aims for when he makes his films. I am not a fan of hard-core, soul-crushing violence for the sake of violence. Nor am I a fan of the language that is a staple of Mr. Tarantino's movies. With previous works such as "Pulp Fiction", "Kill Bill Vol I. and II", "Grindhouse", "Jackie Brown" and "Reservoir Dogs", his movies usually consist of criminals and unlikeable characters committing horrible crimes involving murder and drugs.
Not my cup of tea.
So when I started seeing trailers for "Django Unchained", I wrote it off as being another gory-for-the-sake-of-being-gory Tarantino film. I read some early reviews from other bloggers who pretty much concurred with my assumptions, so I didn't think much of it. Until my good friend, Melisa (a fellow movie buff), went to see it last night. I warned her about what I heard, and waited to hear what her thoughts were. I was not expecting this:
"I thought the movie was AMAZING AND BRILLIANT. I loved it!!"
Shocked, I saw that the rest of her post talked about how she was not normally a Tarantino fan (same here) but that she tried to keep an open mind because her sister and sons had seen it and thought it was great.
Hmm . . . now my curiosity was a little peaked. Was I missing out on something? So in the spirit of doing things that scare me (see my 2013 resolution post), I headed to the movies today to sit through 2 hours and 45 minutes of what I was sure to be something that would give me nightmares for evenings to come.
Afterwords, all I could say was "WOW". As in, "WOW, was that movie spectacular!" It's not a "typical" Tarantino movie as I would define it. It's a beautiful love story, with some award-worthy performances from Jamie Foxx, Leonard DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz. Is the language a little rough in some places? Absolutely. If you remember that the film is set in the South, years prior to the Civil War, then the language is real for what the time period was. I don't feel it was overdone for dramatic effect. Was there violence? Absolutely. Is it graphic? Yes. Does it fit the time period and excessive for excessive sake, as most Tarantino films are? I don't believe so. (I would say there is one scene towards the end of the movie that is filled with classic, Tarantino violence that's a little over-the-top). But the majority of the movie is this amazing story of a freed black man struggling to find his wife and the lengths he will go to get her.
The film is uplifting, funny at times, gritty, sad, and powerful all rolled together. I could go on and on, but I don't want to give too much away. Do yourself a favor, go see it.
Maybe you will be as surprised as I was.