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Movie Review Paper: Django Unchained Through The Sociological Lens

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Movie Summary

The movie that I chose to write my movie review paper on was Django Unchained. The film takes place in the late 1850s when slavery was still accepted and common part of the culture. Django Unchained starts off with a scene of two men on horses pulling a line of slaves shackled together by their feet on a cold winter night. The two men on horseback encounter a man that goes by the name of a Dr. King Schultz and acts as if his current profession is in dentistry, which can be seen by his wagon that is being pulled by his horse. Dr. Schultz socializes with the two men and asked if they had a slave that went by the name of Django, shortly after figuring out that he was indeed in the line of slaves he tries to negotiate with the men and purchase Django.

It can be seen at the very beginning of the movie that Dr. Schultz is a sharpshooter once he terminated the two men on horseback after threatening to take Dr. Schultz’s life. Once, the men were dead, Dr. Schultz declared Django a free man and they rode away to the nearest town on horseback. The next morning, they arrived at the nearest town and the two have a talk this is when Dr. Schultz reveals that he no longer practices dentistry and that he now is enrolled in the life of a bounty hunter, one that takes wanted criminals in dead or alive. The reason that Dr. Schultz’s freed Django is because he is looking for a band of brothers that have a bounty on their head and he stumbles across the information that Django may, in fact, know where they are and what they look like.

On their first visit to a local plantation, they soon find out that the three brothers are on the plantation and then it is up to the bounty hunters to do their job. Once the job is finished, Dr. Schultz realizes that Django may be of use to him whenever it comes to collecting bounties. He also realizes that Django has a true talent of being a sharpshooter as well, just as himself. Later on, that night the two are talking and Django reveals that he is married to a woman that goes by the name of Broomhilda and he explains that they were separated after trying to escape their life of slavery one night. Touched by his story, Dr. Schultz tells Django that he can accompany him as a bounty hunter through the winter and once he gathers some cash and summer approaches, they will go searching for his wife. After, an extended period of time of fulfilling bounties, the two gather a great sum of cash and embark on the promised journey of finding Django’s wife and freeing her.

The two conduct some research and conclude that Broomhilda can be found on one of the biggest plantations that go by the name Candieland. Calvin Candie is the owner of the plantation and he inherited the property from his father. Dr. Schultz and Django visit Candieland and tell Calvin that they are interested in a slave that they could use for fighting, but in reality, they are searching for Broomhilda and hoping to set her free. The two realize very quickly that Broomhilda is indeed at Candieland and once they find some private time, they discuss the plans to release her. After, spending some time together, tensions rise yet they settle on a slave for fighting and tell Calvin they’ll return in seven days to retrieve the slave. This is when things go south, Stephen the housemaid at Candieland realizes that the three know each other and captures them all. They then force Dr. Schultz to pay a high price for Broomhilda instead of the fighting slave which they were going to bail out on anyways. Once, the papers were signed sealing the deal a gunfight between Django and the plantation breaks out after Dr. Schultz kills Calvin ending in Dr. Schultz’s death as well. After, a few minutes of gunfire Django is captured and is supposed to be sent to a mining company where he would spend the rest of his days in slavery mining. Yet Django escapes and kills the men that were transporting him to the mining facility and stealing some dynamite in the process. Django returns to Candieland and laces the place with dynamite while everyone on the plantation is attending Calvin’s funeral. Another gunfight breaks out and Django kills everyone inside and then blows up the house with the stolen dynamite. Finally, once Candieland was no more Django and Broomhilda ride off in the moonlight to start their new lives as free individuals.

Sociological Terms

The first sociological term that is present in the Django Unchained film and the most obvious is racism and can be found in chapter 11 of the text. Racism is a belief that not all races are created equal and that there are races that reign superior over others. In the 1800s the belief that certain races were unequal, sparked. You can see this in numerous scenes throughout the movie where Django is questioned about his status because he is a free man. The people throughout the film thought this to be impossible because they looked down on Django for his race and they thought that he couldn’t be the same social status as themselves.

The second sociological term that is present in the Django Unchained film is chattel slavery and can be found in chapter 10 of the text. Chattel slavery is the term that is used whenever one owns another person as if they were a piece of property. Throughout the entire film, you can see slavery in effect. A few examples of this would be slaves working in the field to collect crops then sell for cash, forcing others to fight one another for simply entertainment, fulfilling orders demanded in the house at Candieland, etc. The movie revolves around slavery and acts as the biggest conflict in the film that Django and Dr. Schultz must overcome.

The third sociological term that is present in the Django Unchained film is discrimination and can be found in chapter 11 of the text. Discrimination is a subjective way of thinking because of what others may have said or what you may believe from past experiences (Griffiths et al., 2019). You can discriminate against color, age, gender, health, etc. There are several occasions where individuals discriminate against others, a few examples are when Calvin discusses the worth of his slaves based on their age and health, assumptions about one’s wealth and status based on the information that they know such as speaking a foreign language, making slaves walk in shackles and chains while others ride on horseback or in a carriage, etc.

The fourth sociological term that is present in the Django Unchained film is significant other and can be found in chapter 1 of the text. A significant other is one that is important to someone and has a positive impact on their life. Towards the beginning of the film, Django’s motivation to help Dr. Schultz is because there is a flame of hope in finding his significant other, Broomhilda. Once, Django lays his eyes on Broomhilda he is engulfed with anger after he sees what torment she is going through at Candieland. Django keeps the rage bottled up until all things go south and a gunfight breaks out. Django was willing to surrender during the gunfight because he realized that Broomhilda was in danger. Even after being captured and sent to a local mining company, Django never stopped trying to save his significant other and was willing to sacrifice his life to keep her out of harm’s way.

The fifth sociological term that is present in the Django Unchained film is language and can be found in chapter 3 of the text. Language is a way that individuals communicate with one another, there are several languages that can be used to do so (Griffiths et al., 2019). Though this doesn’t seem like an important role in the movie it indeed plays a significant role. To find Broomhilda it would be like looking for a needle in a haystack, but there was one unique thing that made it easy to locate her and that is because she is fluent in German. It would be obvious that Django and Dr. Schultz were on a mission to find Broomhilda, but they used an excuse that he was looking to spend some time with a slave that was fluent in German which would indeed be Broomhilda. This worked as an excellent disguise and an excellent way to track Django’s long-lost wife.

The sixth and final sociological term that is present in the Django Unchained film is role strain and can be found in chapter 4 of the text. Role strain is when one gets stressed out because of their role in their everyday life (Griffiths et al., 2019). This is a very common situation whenever it comes to slavery. Slave owners had the idea that their slaves should never take breaks and work throughout the day and the night with little rest and food. Working long hours and doing strenuous work takes a toll on one’s body and begins breaking them down both mentally and physically. This was the reason that so many slaves were willing to sacrifice their lives to escape just as Django and Broomhilda once attempted. They just wanted to escape from the daily life that was killing them slowly and to fulfill the void of freedom in their lives.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Django Unchained. The movie has a number of examples of sociological terms that can be witnessed throughout the film. Though some of these terms may be looked upon in a negative manner, they show the results of what can happen when acts such as those listed above take place such as discrimination and racism. I also found the plot of the movie to be very intriguing and kept you on the edge of your seat with suspense and action it was as if the movie held the climax for an extended period of time which can be a hard thing to achieve. I would definitely suggest this movie to others not only as great entertainment but a lesson on the cruelty that people once had to live through and how far we have advanced as society to create a world where we treat others as we would want to be treated. 

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Movie Review Paper: Django Unchained Through The Sociological Lens. (2021, August 06). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 25, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/movie-review-paper-django-unchained-through-the-sociological-lens/
“Movie Review Paper: Django Unchained Through The Sociological Lens.” GradesFixer, 06 Aug. 2021, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/movie-review-paper-django-unchained-through-the-sociological-lens/
Movie Review Paper: Django Unchained Through The Sociological Lens. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/movie-review-paper-django-unchained-through-the-sociological-lens/> [Accessed 25 Jan. 2022].
Movie Review Paper: Django Unchained Through The Sociological Lens [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Aug 06 [cited 2022 Jan 25]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/movie-review-paper-django-unchained-through-the-sociological-lens/
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