Monday, April 15, 2013

Django Unchained

2012, US, directed by Quentin Tarantino

A disappointment, and in many ways a mess -- not only is Tarantino's thinking on matters racial entirely muddled, to be charitable, but his film has little of the structural finesse of his earlier work, whether it's the interlocking stories and alternate versions of a Jackie Brown or the careful block-building of Inglourious Basterds. As Jim Emerson observed in his comments on the film, Tarantino constructs a terrific early set piece in a bar and never comes close to that level of skill and suspense in the remainder of the film (I did like the opening, too). Indeed, in retrospect, the entire first half of the film comes to seem motivated almost entirely by the need to acquire a bankroll for the subsequent search for Django's wife, and yet that search is absurdly attenuated that it undercuts almost everything that came before.

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States