I know I sound as if it wasn’t just released on Christmas, but I’ve been anticipating this film since first hearing about it.
Despite my excitement, I was unsure as to how I’d feel after watching it. I wasn’t too concerned about the controversy surrounding the Quentin Tarantino film. After all, it is a Quentin Tarantino film. What I was concerned about stems from how I spent the previous weekend.
Last week BET began showing Roots, Alex Haley’s award-winning miniseries about the struggle from slavery to liberation. I spent hours watching each part and I must say, it left me emotionally drained. From Kunta Kinte’s foot being chopped off, to Kizzy being raped by Tom Moore; I cringed and was even on the verge of tears. Making it through Django Unchained after seeing the tragedy in Roots, seemed like it would be tough…
But I did, and I’m glad.
For starters, Django Unchained is meant to entertain. I didn’t walk into the theater expecting to learn about the horrors of slavery; this was taught to me long before. Ultimately, Django Unchained is a damsel in distress story. Django (Jamie Foxx) is a freed man looking to save his wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), from a ruthless plantation owner by any means necessary.
It’s a love story. A violent one, but nevertheless, a love story.
Though I believe that an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind, I admit it felt good to see a formerly enslaved man get revenge. I cheered while watching Roots as an elderly Kizzy spit in former friend Miss Anne’s water after she claimed to not know “a darkie named Kizzy.” However, it was a different experience seeing Django whip the hell out of an overseer.
Director Spike Lee said Django Unchained is “disrespectful to his ancestors” and talk show host Tavis Smiley called the film “a spoof on slavery.” Sorry Spike and Tavis, I respect you both, but I beg to differ. For me, film did not take away from the seriousness of slavery. Instead, Django Unchained brought the kind of redemption that I have been yearning to see, to the big screen.
I want to hear your thoughts about Django Unchained. Seen it? Plan on seeing it? Refuse to see it? Drop one in the comments section!