Django Unchained, like other films before it, is just a movie


There is some whining about the new Quentin Tarantino film, “Django Unchained,” which is pointless as it’s giving the film free publicity and it is, after all, just a movie. Photo Credit: Jeff Balke/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA

Most people have heard of “Django Unchained” by now, the newly-released film by Quentin Tarantino. Some people have taken offense to parts of it, including the language, which is absolutely pointless just like controversies over films past it.

Spike Lee out of things to complain about; chooses “Django Unchained”

Famed director Spike Lee is a first-rate film maker. “Do The Right Thing” is rightly heralded as as great work and even his worst films are better than anything by Michael Bay. However, the guy loves to complain.

Among other other whinging over the years, these days he’s getting notoriety for calling “Django Unchained,” the new Quentin Tarantino film, racist, saying it’s trivializing slavery in America and that it’s wrong for the film to use the “n” word.

In fairness, the word was more acceptable, to one degree or another, in the time period “Django” is set in. When Mark Twain published “Huckleberry Finn,” the same complaints were made and efforts to ban it are made every year or two. He made the same critique of Tarantino’s film “Jackie Brown,” a grossly underappreciated film.

Still, it’s just a movie.

Not the only one

Other people are protesting “Django Unchained” and they, along with just about anybody else who criticizes a film for the content, are missing the point. It’s just a movie.

Think about any movie there was a controversy about. “Brokeback Mountain,” for instance, made a lot of people mad. I was, but only because that’s two hours of my life spent watching a fantastically boring, unforgivably trite movie that I’ll never get back. “Harry Potter”…well, the books deserve criticism, not because of the witchcraft but because they’re badly written.“Passion of the Christ,” the list goes on. In almost any case, the buzz over that people were mad is usually, on balance, much more of an attention-getter than the parts of the films that are being objected to.

So a movie has a scene with something one person might not like. So what? No one will force you to watch it or listen to a shocking record or play a controversial video game. You can just turn off the television.

Whining is free PR

The other thing, which no one seems to figure out, is that anytime someone kicks up a fuss about a movie, television show or whatever, is that it gets the target of their outrage free publicity. That means more people are going to want to watch and more money in the maker’s pockets. If anything, Quentin Tarantino should send Spike Lee a “thank you” card – more people are likely going to watch “Django Unchained” as a result of his tirades.

Remember how Chick-fil-A were the bad guys a while ago because one of its executives said he wasn’t in favor of gay marriage? They have record sales these days, thanks to the free publicity. Ann Coulter? I wager she’ll say something outrageous just before or just after her next terribly-written book comes out.

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