Check out my latest post on the Friendly Atheist, about the movie Django Unchained. (Warning: here be spoilers.)
The commenters aren’t really in agreement with what I had to say, and to be honest I’m not 100% certain of my hypothesis. I argued that Django and Schultz walked into a bloodbath because they were thinking in mythological terms instead of looking at the situation logically. That’s a good thing if you’re a character in a Tarantino movie, but a bad thing if you’re a character living a real life and trying to achieve an objective. It also leads into the moral dilemma of Schultz and Django failing to save a slave’s life when they had the chance, which I wish I had focused on more as I was writing about the movie. But such is life in the up-to-the-minute world of blogging.
One thing some people are pointing out is that the ruse (pretending to be slave-traders) was necessary to avoid paying a ridiculous price for Broomhilda . . . which of course they ended up forced to do anyway, immediately before the beginning of the bloodbath. Then they got involved in a bloodbath, plus Schultz got killed, plus Broomhilda was consigned to sex slavery (as punishment for being rescued?), plus Django almost got his balls cut off before being sold into the most grueling form of work-’em-til-they-die slavery in the mines.
So, whether envisioning himself as a modern-day mythic hero caused them to dream up a more dramatic plan than necessary – which still makes sense to me -I’m pretty confident in saying the situation was certainly not an unambiguous win for Django.
And I submit that the bloodbath would not have happened without Schultz’ guilt feelings about saving the slave, who he might have had the option of saving if he and Django dropped the masquerade and conducted a straightforward business deal.
It would’ve been bad for Tarantino, of course, but better for Django and Schultz. Which is entirely the nature of tragic stories. I wish I’d talked more about whether the movie was truly a revenge triumph as billed or if it was, in fact, a (slightly ambiguous) tragedy . . . but I guess there’s only so much room to review in any given blog post.
Anyway, post here if you want to let me know what you think.