A Southerner’s Thoughts on “Django Unchained”

A few weeks ago, I went on Facebook and asked which of my cousins will go see “Django Unchained” with me the day after Christmas.  I’m happy to say 9 of us trekked to the theater.  As I was getting some refreshments, the guy behind the counter, he could not be older than 16, asked which movie I was going to see.  When I told him, his response was, “Oh, you’ll like it.  It was really funny!”  I, being a 30 year old Black woman that grew up in the South and knowing the premise of the movie, did not think that “funny” was the most accurate word to describe this film.

While watching Django, I had to turn my head a few times.  If you know Tarantino, you know his movies are full of cursing, blood, and violence.  I was prepared for the MFer’s.  I was prepared for the “nigger”s.  I was even prepared for the violence.  However, when Calvin Candie, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, handed a hammer to his mandingo fighter and told him to finish his opponent, I turned my head.  The silence heard after that weapon was used was deafening in my ears. You realized just how hard these men were fighting to stay alive.

Now, to give credit to the young White boy behind the counter, there were some funny moments.  Take for instance the portrayal of some racist Whites, who were supposed to be pre-KKK members.  And the very end, when Django was able to enact revenge on those that kept his wife.  But referring to the entire movie as funny is grossly incorrect.  Honestly, I’m not sure how I would categorize Django.  I didn’t like it.  I didn’t not like it.  My emotions are up in the air.  When my mom asked me what I thought, I told her I didn’t know; I would have to go see it again.  My main take-away from the film was the love story.  This man did not let ANYTHING stop him from rescuing his wife.  How often do we see a man go through hell and highwater to get to his woman, especially on screen?  Not very often.

I love Spike Lee movies, from “School Daze” to “Bamboozled”.  But I need him to stop trying to keep his name in people’s mouths by telling folks to boycott this film.  He needs to find something constructive to do.

In the end, my cousins liked the movie.  I’m on the fence, which is highly ironic since I’m the main reason we all went together.  I’m sure I’ll see it again.  And I probably should not have watched “Queen” right before I went to see it… Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!