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Django Unchained Film Critique Essay

3994 words - 16 pages

In 1858, Django (Jamie Foxx), a slave, is chained to a bunch of other slaves and being marched to his new owner's estate in Texas by the Speck brothers. At nightfall, a German man in a dentist cart pulls up and hails the Speck brothers. He introduces himself as Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz).

Schultz is clearly more intelligent and enlightened than the Specks. He says he is looking for a slave who can identify a band of wanted fugitives known as the Brittle brothers. Django announces that he knows the Brittle brothers and can identify them. Schultz offers to buy Django, but his polite and educated manner rubs the ill-mannered Specks the wrong way, and Ace Speck threatens to shoot ...view middle of the document...

When Schultz insists on being served, the barkeep runs out of the saloon, Schultz calling after him to specifically bring the sheriff, not the town marshal.

While they wait, Schultz pours beers for himself and Django and leaves money on the bar. He explains that he is no longer a dentist, but a bounty hunter in search of the Brittle brothers who are wanted dead or alive. He admits that although he knows the general location of the brothers, near Gatlinburg, they have adopted aliases, and he needs somebody who can identify them. Schultz tells Django that if he helps him bring in the Brittle brothers, Schultz will give him his freedom, pay him a $75 share of the reward, and let him keep his horse. Django immediately agrees, when, as if on cue, Schultz sees the sheriff coming down the sidewalk.

The sheriff enters the saloon, shotgun in hand, and tells Schultz and Django to leave. The two comply, and exit out the swinging doors. We see that a number of townspeople are watching the spectacle unfolding as the sheriff asks them why they are coming into his town and showing themselves with the sole purpose of causing trouble. Schultz is silent, then steps forward. A spring-mounted Derringer pops up in his right hand, and he shoots the sheriff in the stomach. The townspeople are stunned as the sheriff stumbles to the ground, moaning in pain from the bullet wound. Schultz walks around the wounded sheriff, aims his Derringer, and shoots him in the head, killing him. The townspeople immediately run for their lives. Schultz looks up and tells the bartender that now is the time to fetch the marshal. The bartender runs off while Schultz and Django go back into the saloon to wait.

The town marshal and most of the town arrive and train rifles on the front door of the saloon. Schultz hears that he has 100 rifles aimed at his head, and gets the marshal to agree to not have him shot dead like a dog in the street when he comes out. Schultz then exits, hands raised over his head, and a paper in his hand. He announces to the marshal and to the assembled townsfolk what has really happened: that the dead man the people of Daughtrey saw fit to elect as their sheriff, who went by the name of 'Bill Sharpe', is a wanted cattle rustler named Willard Peck, with a $200 bounty on his head. Schultz suggests that the marshal pay him the $200 fee.

Later, while camping, Django admits to Schultz that what he wants to do once he is liberated is buy freedom for his wife, a slave girl named Broomhilda von Shaft (Kerry Washington) who had been a servant of a German mistress before being sold into slavery in the U.S. Their owner Carrucan (Bruce Dern) was cruel and disapproved of their marriage, so the pair attempted escape. They were caught by the Brittle brothers, who tortured and branded them both with the mark of a runaway, a small "R" on their right cheeks. Their owner then directed the Brittle brothers to sell the pair to separate owners, and to take the lowest price for...

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