Sunday, January 13, 2013

Django Unchained—Quentin Tarantino’s Does Spaghetti Western

Western fiction
I like Tarantino movies and Westerns, so I expected to love Django Unchained.  I only liked it. It wasn’t bad; it just didn’t live up to my expectations.

The Spaghetti Western is a subset of the Western genre, typified by antiheroes, revenge themes, extreme violence, slow scenes, scant dialogue, extreme close-ups, long running times, and heavy scores punctuated by stretches of pure silence. (My favorite is Once Upon a Time in the West.) The Spaghetti Western is a different breed from the traditional Western because all of these characteristics are done to excess.

I knew something was amiss with Django Unchained about two hours into the movie when I wondered how long it would be before the end. Not a good sign, even when three hours is typical for Spaghetti Westerns. The audience is supposed to be transported to another place and time, not squirming in their seats.

Tarantino loves bad movies, especially bad genre movies. He sees art where others see trash. His best works, like Kill Bill for example, blend clichés and corniness from multiple genres into a cornucopia of unexpected delights. Django Unchained seemed too predictable and too narrow. Perhaps Tarantino’s shtick has run its course. I hope not.

Related post: Europe's Infatuation with the American Wild West

1 comment:

  1. Django Unchained is one of the best movies of the year and if you're a Tarantino fan, then this movie is a must-see. If you love movies like Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill and Inglorious Basterds, then you'll love this movie. Good review James.