Quentin Tarantinois arguably one of the most iconic filmmakers and actors of our generation from his wide variety of uncanny films such as Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Bastards and one of his biggest hits Django Unchained. Tarantino is willing to explore taboo and controversial topics through his films in non-traditional manners. In Lunsford’s book Everything’s An Argument she writes, “Humor has always played an important role in argument, sometimes as the sugar makes the medicine go down,” similarly Tarantino explores the issues of race and slavery through Django Unchained with its unusual dark humored plot and western-rap soundtrack. Django is a one of a kind movie it is a pre-civil war western movie starring a former slave turned bounty hunter. The soundtrack of this movie isn’t anymore logical than the plot; it has western songs with some 1970’s signature Tarantino and modern rap such as Rick Ross and 2Pac. The sound track of this movie will enhance your movie watching experience in a variety of ways; you will find yourself cheering for Django as he whips another man to death and you will watch a good ole western shoot out while 2Pac raps. You could say pathos is the strongest trait of this movies soundtrack. Where the movie soundtrack lacks in logos the ethos will overcompensate by using big artists such as 2Pac, Rick Ross, popular actors such as Jamie Foxx and the director himself Tarantino.
One of the most iconic scenes in this movie is when Django gets his revenge on the Brittle brothers, three brothers who formally owned Django and his wife Broomhilda. The brothers had once abused Django and his wife, worked them like dogs and mistreated them like many other slave owners. Now that Django is a freeman he has the opportunity to get his revenge and get paid for it. One of the Brittle brothers is dragging one of the house slaves and tying her up to the tree for a whipping, much like Django’s wife had once been whipped. This scene really uses a strong sense of ethos the song beings to build up which matches the audience’s build up of emotions. We as an audience are about to watch a woman get whipped for dropping eggs, we feel uncomfortable, sad and a little squeamish. The music gets faster as Django approaches one of the Brittle brothers, the scene feels very heroic and then we see Django in a majestic blue suit having a standoff with his former slave owner. We as an audience can’t help but feel excited for Django as he is about to save the woman and get his revenge on a man who once treated him so horribly. Django then faces his former owner and says “Remember me?” shoots him and continues on to say “I like the way you die, boy.” Wow what a line, but it doesn’t stop there! The heroic music continues as Django picks up the whip from his fallen owner and then goes onto whip another white man.
Again we feel a little uncomfortable about the whipping but at the same time as an audience we feel as though Django is doing the right thing. This scene uses ethos to make us feel upset, uncomfortable yet happy. There is also some logos in this scene it makes sense and we empathize with Django as he kills two men, his revenge is well deserved. I think the music in the background really enhances Django’s revenge. The build up in tempo and the instruments used make the scene feel heroic and his killing feels more justified, without the sound it is just him approaching two men having a standoff and then killing them.
When we think of western movies we think of gory shoot outs, one cowboy versus another. The shootout scene in this movie takes gory, blood and guns to the next level. Django finds himself up against twelve or so white men, Django is trapped in this house while men break in through different doors charging at him with guns. We feel tense, a little nervous and a little grossed out with all the blood flying everywhere. Django makes it past a group of men grabs more guns and when you think he’s in the clear another group of white men barge through the door. At that moment 2Pac and James Brown start rapping as the shoot out continues. I felt a little confused in that moment but it creates an interesting juxtaposition modern rap in the midst of a western shootout. Django takes no prisoners and the rap music really enhanced this badass western style shootout.
I absolutely loved this movie. I felt as though Tarantino’s unusual and contradictory song choices like in the western shootout ultimately enhanced my movie experience 5/5.