I’m grateful to you who told me what to expect. I didn’t go in looking for a slave movie and I wasn’t surprised or disappointed that I didn’t get one. Here’s what I think!
First, D’Jango is a western that just happens to be set in the period before the Civil War–two years before as a matter of fact. D’Jango happens to have at its heart a black slave, Jamie Foxx as D’Jango, who is trying to find his wife. He is cast into a relationship with the man who releases him from slavery and that turns into friendship.
I’d say D’Jango is hip, contemporary, forward thinking, and (stylish?). It’s not nearly as scary as the trailers portray. To Spike Lee I say, “You’d like it if you’d let go of the notion that slavery belongs only to us.” It is not always relevant that we hold hands and sing spirituals at a “slave” movie? I don’t downplay slavery and its horrors, but it did exist during 1865.
Sometimes a fresh approach and a bit of levity allow us to see how really absurd the whole “superiority” thing was. I found numerous lessons in this movie. One of them was how inept the slave masters were. No scene portrays this better than the one with Don Johnson’s character Spencer “Big Daddy” Bennett and his band of Ku Klux Klan members out chasing D’Jango during the night. (The clip below shows a bit of that scene at the very end. The clip may also reveal a bit much of the movie, but maybe not).
The Klan stop to adjust the homemade hoods made by one member’s wife. The laughs that result from the shenanigans in that scene put the dreaded, scary, hateful KKK in a whole new light. You can’t help but laugh out loud at the buffoonery that results.
Yes, the “N” word is used throughout the movie, but not to distraction. I’ve been more offended by its use in rap songs. Also, don’t be afraid of the beating scene involving Kerry Washington. You’ve seen her be at least that intense in “Scandal”.
On a whole, I’m going to say D’Jango was a lot of fun and not the least bit sad because it was too over the top, Tarantino style, but then you guys know I march to the beat of a different drummer.
Weigh in! Have you seen D’Jango? Do you plan to?