Roger Wilco wrote:
So, I just watched the movie, and while I loved the first ~2 hours, I really have a problem with the ending. Am I missing some deeper metaphorical message or what or was it supposed to be a fairy tale or something? It felt really kind of out of touch with the rest of the movie, almost like a dream sequence. Imo the movie should have either ended with Schultz shaking Candie's hand and walking out of there with Django and Broomhilda or with all three of them dead right there after Schultz shoots Candie.
It made absolutely no sense for Django to be "punished" the way he was, without even any supervision by some of Candyland's overseers. An "uppity" black guy who causes the death of a very prominent white man and numerous other white guys in Mississippi in 1858 just being sold to some mining company like that is absurd. And yes, there was this speech by Stephen, but that made no sense either; castrating Django would've just been the start of his punishment.
Very strange. I'm just not sure wether the ending was shit or I'm just missing some nuance Tarantino was going for there.
You would think that Django would've been ripped apart after the shoot out at Candyland, but I think that Stephen's speech was very important. To me, I saw Stephen as a manipulator, of both Candies. It's a very subversive idea, or thought on my part perhaps, but I saw Stephen in many ways running the plantation. Despite his slave status, Stephen took a lot of liberties that you-at least-I wouldn't have expected a slave, even a house slave, to do.
He hid behind some clownish, servile behavior and his old age, but right off the bat he was challenging Candie, he was bossing the overseers, he's the one that tipped Candie off to the plan (and remember how he was casually sitting in a parlor chair, drinking a brandy), and he's the one that planted the idea in Candie's sister's mind to sell Django off.
So even though I have mixed feelings about Django not taking out Candie instead of Schultz, his final confrontation with Stephen made sense to me because he was sort of the mastermind behind Candyland, IMO. Stephen had taken the lemons he was given due to birth and status and subverted them to gain a position of power and influence at Candyland. Of course, "rising" through the ranks in a slave system made him just as monstrous as Candie and other white slave owners. Nor did it really shield him from all the realities of being a slave. It is notable that Stephen telling Candie what's really going on was done behind closed doors, in keeping with the racial customs and reinforcing the idea of white supremacy. And if Candie wanted to shut Stephen down at any time, he could, so Stephen trod carefully.
I agree with those who felt that ending was the right way to go. I could've seen the film ending with Django's capture and the audience could all imagine the horrors that would occur next with Django and Broomhilda. But it wouldn't have been as satisfying or cathartic if we didn't see Django get his full revenge or accomplish his goal of freeing Broomhilda. I also agree with the idea that the ending helped Django come fully into his own. We got to see him doing things solo for once, setting up and executing a plan without Schultz, and I think that's one of the things that helped establish Django as a man/hero in his own right, without someone holding his hand or guiding him.