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Django Unchained: An Intriguing World

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Did you watch Django Unchained yet? Or, are you planning to watch it soon? Let’s find out what you will love and what to expect.

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Django Unchained

Quentin Tarantino’s name has become a brand now. One is sure that the movie will be a worth watch as from his directing to his casting and the script blows off the audience’s mind. Many of his famous films like Kill Bill, Inglorious Bastards and Django Unchained are still talked about. These movies have a great impact not only on the box office but also in people’s memory.

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Quentin Tarantino

What is Django Unchained really about?

Django, played by Jamie Foxx is a slave who is freed and then bought by Dr. Schultz (Christoph Waltz) who teaches him about bounty hunting. The story progresses as they go around killing the wanted people and getting the bounty money. Django decides to rescue his wife Broomhilda, who is sold off to a cruel master Calvin Candie, which is played by the chocolate boy Leonardo Di Caprio.

Django and Schultz disguise themselves as slave buyers and finally with a lot of guns going off. After a few killings, they manage to get Broomhilda’s freedom – and the movie ends. A happy ending isn’t it? 

But there are some things which you probably didn’t know about Django Unchained. What are these facts and details which you might have missed out while watching the movie?

So let’s Unbox the Django Unchained

Quentin Tarantino made the genre Spaghetti Western famous after his movie Django Unchained. This genre was not so popular before the Django Unchained but after the movie, people got a lot more interested in this genre of film. 

Tarantino got inspired by this movie from an old film by Corbucci in 1966 called Django. He picked up the title of his new film from the same film. It is said that Tarantino watched Django several times to understand the depth of the genre and the direction which he used as the research basis for his film Django Unchained.

Many film critics in their reviews told that his research was limited only to the old film and that he didn’t bring justice to the overall genre and the issue raised. This is obviously debated by the Tarantino fans and the audience.

The later part of the movie is presumed to be taken from the movie Hercules Unchained, an American version for the Italian film Ercole e la Regina di Lidia. This film was about the mythical greek hero’s unchaining from the cruel master. It also assumed that “Unchained” was taken from Angel Unchained, a film about the American Biker gang which was a highly sensational topic during the 1970s.

What is the real truth behind Tarantino’s motive of naming the movie Django Unchained only he can tell us!

Who were the casts and what was Django all about?

Coming to the inspiration of the film’s story, Tarantino based his film Django Unchained on various scenes from Corbucci’s film Django and a 1975 film called the Mandingo which is about a slave who is trained to fight other slaves in a fatal battle where only the winner survives. I know you can relate to these films by the pop-movie like Hunger Games where the same storyline is followed.

Tarantino also mentioned in an interview once that he includes a scene where the actors fight in the snow to pay respect to the film The Great Silence. All we can deduce is that Tarantino indeed did include a lot of scenes from several films which made out to be a great hit in the box office.

Dr. Schultz training Django for bounty-hunting
Bounty-hunting

Why was it a great deal? Because along with Django Unchained, Les Miserables and Sherlock Homes were also released which were an equally great hit. It is a fact that few actors who Tarantino was about to cast in his movie could not do their part because of their busy and clashing schedules to other movies which released along with Django Unchained. Are you curious about who these actors were? Well, they were Sacha Baron Cohen, Jonah Hill, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. These actors had their prior commitments which unfortunately didn’t allow them to be a part of a big blockbuster film.

Django Unchained: Jamie Foxx

We all loved Jamie Foxx’s acting as Django but apparently, he was not the first choice of cast for the character Django. Tarantino wrote the script keeping Will Smith in his mind but unfortunately, he denied the role due to his personal reasons. It is also said that Michael K. Williams was also approached for the role but couldn’t do it.

Well, Jamie did justice to Django as his acting was commendable. But did you know that Franco Nero who played Django in the 1966 film also played a small role in Django Unchained? Isn’t that so cool!!

How did the world receive Django Unchained?

Well, no one had the doubts that the film wouldn’t do better as it had the Tarantino brain behind it. Even though the movie had high competitors during its release, the film managed to gross $162.8 million in the United States and Canada together. A total of $262.6 million in other territories is really commendable since it faced a lot of troubles to be released in China as they had demands like thickening and darkening of the blood in scenes.

The movie made a real profit as it bagged a worldwide total of $425.4 million against a production budget of $100 million which according to Tarantino was a high budget film as of yet. As of 2013 that is almost seven years ago, Django Unchained was Tarantino’s highest-grossing film which surpassed his 2009 film Inglourious Basterds, which grossed $321.4 million worldwide. It is also assumed that Inglourious Basterds was a kind of prelude to Django Unchained. Well, we have in numbers how well the movie did worldwide! 

What went behind the making of Django Unchained?

Well since the entire movie was based on the “southern” spaghetti western genre of film, the costumes and designs were inspired from the earlier films made on the same genre. The interesting fact is that the famous Django’s valet outfit in the movie was inspired by an old painting! Yes, that’s right, it was referred to Thomas Gainsborough’s 1770 oil painting The Blue Boy. You didn’t think it would be such an old fashion inspiration, did you?

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The Blue Boy
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Inspired costume of Django

But you are in for more surprises as the music of the film has much more to it. As was noticed by Hollis Robbins, much of the theme of the music has been borrowed from films which were made between 1966 and 1974 which acted as an allusion to the Vietnam and Watergate era which was also during the rise and fall of the Black Power cinema.

How did the critics receive it?

As the film also portrays black slavery, the cruelty done on the slaves by the white men thus destroying the identity of the white man as the savior and the redeemer of the world as shown in most of the white films, Django Unchained stands out as a bible to all the suffering faced by the black community. 

So unquestionably Django Unchained was well received by the critics all around the world. To prove this we can look at some of the top cinema critic sites. It got an approval rating of 87% based on 282 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and an average rating of 8.02/10 which is a pretty good rating. Another critiquing site Metacritic gives the film a great score of 81 out of 100, based on 42 critics, who claim themselves to have “universal acclaim”.

But why should we always believe what the critics say? so on the site called CinemaScore, the audiences poll the film and give their reviews. They gave the film an average grade of “A-” on an A+ to F scale which makes the film a must-watch for all the movie lovers out there.

Fames received by Django Unchained :

 The American Film Institute placed Django Unchained as one of their Top Ten Movies of the Year in December 2012. We can just imagine how much did everyone in Hollywood liked the film to be in the top ten films. The film received five Golden Globe Award nominations which is a really great achievement as it got awards in different sectors like Best Picture, and Best Director and Best Screenplay.

Tarantino also grabbed hold of the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the movie. It really isn’t much of a surprise given how the film was directed and put forth in a brilliant manner. But these are not the only awards which the film received – as it continued to be appreciated even after its release in 2012.

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Trivia facts for Django Unchained:

The name “Django” is a Romani name meaning “I awake.” This is a very meaningful name as the slave Django really is awakening from his suppressing past to awake for a new beginning and a life ahead which was not a scenario for the other slaves.

The men in hoods organized by Big Daddy represent a group known as “The Regulators” were actually spiritual forebears of the later post-civil war. KKK ( Ku Klux Klan) formed in 1865. This all the history geeks out there would definitely relate to!

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Ku Klux Klan

An interesting fact is that in the film, Dr. Schultz says “I, for one, don’t intend to die in Chickasaw County, Mississippi, USA”. But as the movie continues we see that that is where he eventually dies. Such an irony!

Here is a Django Unchained trailer you might want to check out.

Riya Dennis

Written by Riya Dennis

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