Django Unchained

Django Unchained ★★★½

Hey little troublemaker.

Don’t usually do about-face re-reviews, but this film is not sitting well with me, and by me I mean my conscience. The rest of me really wants to like it: on a sensory and purely emotional level, it’s insanely compelling. It’s easy for me to get so swept along with righteous anger (the bad guys here are really, really bad) that I’ll give a protagonist a pass on pretty much whatever they decide to do, and while I would love to stick with my reading of the film as a resetting of a German fairy tale, Django Freeman is ultimately too vindictive, almost vicious, to really be a Hero. If the film had distanced itself from Django’s transition, I might give it a pass, but instead it revels in it because it’s cool and gratifying. Unfortunately, the gratification doesn’t last long. Yes, this movie is very well crafted and it goes down like honey, but overnight it turned into wormwood. There’s worthwhile stuff in here, and I don’t regret watching it, but I’m also redacting the hug I gave it last night. It’s not anywhere near as wholesome as I’d like it to be.

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