Lots of Black folks, myself included, have been worried about Quentin Tarantino’s treatment of slavery-era America in his upcoming film Django Unchained. Unlike with his previous releases, I was unable to get my hands on the screenplay when it was available online so I had no idea what to expect.
Well, the first trailer for the film premiered last week, attached to the release of Ridley Scott’s sci-fi action horror flick Prometheus. And after watching it, and rewatching it, and rewatching it again, I gotta say … I’m looking forward to Django Unchained.
Why? Because the film looks fucking fun. It’s standard issue Tarantino: tongue-in-cheek humor, obvious homages to genre cinema (in this case, the spaghetti Western), and mash-up of disparate influences. It’s part Western, part revenge flick, and all fantasy (not unlike Tarantino’s great Inglourious Basterds).
We all know that Tarantino wanted Will Smith for the role of Django, but I think Jamie Foxx was a better choice. And while I believe Leonardo DiCaprio sometimes takes roles that he’s just not right for (The Aviator? J. Edgar?), he seems to have nailed the part of the evil Calvin Candie. “Gentlemen, you had my curiosity, but now you have my attention.”
Lots of great shots in the trailer, plus, as always with QT related projects, stellar music selections with Johnny Cash’s “Ain’t No Grave (Can Hold Me Down)” and James Brown’s “The Big Payback.” Ladies and gents, this isn’t meant to be a serious, Roots-style exploration of slavery. This is , like most of Tarantino’s body of work, a 70s exploitation flick through and through.
While the final verdict on Django Unchained is still out, the trailer has at least allayed my fears to a cetain extent. Whereas the initial announcement of this film had my curiosity, thanks to the trailer, it now had my attention.
What are your thoughts on the Django Unchained trailer? LMK in the comments below!