Let me make it clear. I did enjoy most of it, but I also found myself looking at my watch and hoping it would end sooner. If there was a film this year that more than deserves the adjective excessive, this is it. It's a decent film, with plenty of action, some very funny scenes, and three of the best performances of the year: Jackson's house slave is almost as good as Washington's performance. He's an interesting and complex character, somehow who we can't even imagine existed. He's the darker twin of Scarlet's mammy in "GWTW", way darker and just as fascinating. There's of course, another star turn by De Caprio, puzzling, magnetic, depraved, and ruthless, and Waltz creates another memorable character, a foreigner who can't comprehend what's going on in his world, but who doesn't stop from taking advantage of the situation without losing his soul.
"Django" is a hybrid of Westerns? and a very strange take on slavery, looking at it through Tarantino's special lens. He's unable to edit himself, and while he builds the tension and almost never loses our interest through Django and Schultz quest to rescue their "lost princess", I kept wondering why he overindulges all the time. Things don't clash here, they explode with such magnitude that I was wondering why wasn't 3-D involved in the process. I kept looking for guts flying and what happened to the NC-17 rating.
There is much praise to give to the fact that he takes risks with his use of language, and there is not a boring conversation in the entire film, but when there is confrontation, you almost feel like ducking or you'll be hit by some of the flying organs. Much of the praise here should go to the way the Old West comes alive with the costumes and art direction. There is also the amazing job Robert Richardson does with his camera, making the film look and feel like one of those Spaghetti Westerns he's paying tribute to. I loved the way he brings in Franco (the original Django) and interacts with this movie's hero. There's of course, some Ennio Morricone, and a few other touches that show Tarantino's adoration of the genre.
Is there a story? Well, barely. A lot of the film is about the feel of it, like getting on a ride without expecting much depth, and to be fair, there shouldn't be a IQ test or some confusing plot twist to ruin the entertainment, but I think Spielberg knew how to control himself in "Saving Private Ryan" by limiting the massacres to the first 20 minutes. A little restraint would have helped here. Who knows? Tarantino might have achieved his masterpiece.
Another detail that is puzzling me. We're hearing all this praise for the movie, like it's the second coming of Peckinpah or the latest collaboration between Benton, Penn, and Carpenter. It's as much fun as the best '60's B movie, but I am not sure about those accolades out there. Where was all this praise for the "Indiana Jones" films? Maybe they should have included more flying body parts and some more colorful language? Still enjoy it for what it is... a ride that has plenty of movie syrup in it.
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