By
hardball
updated 1/4/2013 8:19:27 PM ET 2013-01-05T01:19:27

Smerconish: "Doubt Spike Lee would be upset if he watched. It's twisted, engaging, farcical, bloody, but mostly a condemnation of slavery."

Let me finish with this.

Over the Christmas break I saw Quentin Tarantino’s new movie, Django Unchained.

You know him from his prior work, including – Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, and Inglorius Bastards.

This one is worth the price of admission.

After I saw it, I tweeted the following:

Saw Django. Doubt Spike Lee would be upset if he watched. It’s twisted, engaging, farcical, bloody, but mostly a condemnation of slavery.

I was referring to the fact that in Vibe, Lee said he would not see the movie. He said, “I can’t speak on it ’cause I’m not gonna see it. The only think I can say is it’s disrespectful to my ancestors to see that film.”

No doubt he was making reference to the frequent use of the n-word in the movie.

Tarantino responded in an interview he did with Harvard professor Lewis Gates. He said:

“Personally, I find [the criticism] ridiculous. Because it would be one thing if people are out there saying, “You use it much more excessively in this movie than it was used in 1858 in Mississippi.” Well, nobody’s saying that. And if you’re not saying that, you’re simply saying I should be lying. I should be watering it down. I should be making it more easy to digest. No, I don’t want it to be easy to digest. I want it to be a big, gigantic boulder, a jagged pill and you have no water.”

Jamie Foxx leads an all-star cast playing Django, a freed slave who joins a dentist-turned bounty hunter played brilliantly by Christoph Waltz. They team up to kill the murdering, thieving Brittle brothers, and then to free Django’s wife, a slave named Broomhilda being held at a Mississippi plantation owned by Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, called Candyland.

Sound insane?

Well, it is.

It’s Quentin Tarantino!

But Tarantino does a masterful job depicting the abhorrent nature of slavery.

You root for Jamie Foxx.

Foxx recently made a joke in an opening monologue on SNL about how great it was to kill all the white people in the movie.

Well, believe me, you want his character to kill the white people who enslave him in the movie.

And one other thing.

There are many A-list actors in this movie, but the one who steals the show is Samuel L. Jackson.

He plays a house slave at DiCaprio’s plantation, and he is a vile character.

He’s smart. He’s arguably the smartest character in the movie.

He’s been corrupted. He’s turned on his own.

And he’s black. So this is not exactly some hate whitey movie, either.

There is something in Django Unchained to offend everyone.

But that’s not a reason to stay away. The film packs a powerful message.

As I said, Spike Lee should see it.

Four stars.

Video: The politics of Django Unchained

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