“Django Unchained” is an action driven, blood filled movie about the a slave turned bounty hunter, Django, on his search to find and kill the infamous Speck brothers in return for his freedom. Not only is “Django Unchained” and action filled movie that keeps the audience drawn in, but also the soundtrack finds a way through its Western sounds and beats to continue to keep the viewer’s head at a constant head bob, shaping a mood that the viewers can feel as if they are in the past Wild West.
The movie opens with the song “Django” by Ricky Roberts and Luis Baralov, which consists of a Western beat that includes the use of both tambourines and strung instruments. The lyrics are constantly singing the title of the movie and the main character, “Django”. As the scene opens, a line of slaves are walking through the wilderness, almost walking to the beat of the music. The logic behind this music is to set the tone of the movie beginning right from the opening scene. This song has a rugged sound to it, which creates ethos with the viewer because the slaves are walking through the rugged wilderness, having the music match the ruggedness of the slave’s journey.
Another major song in the movie is the song “Freedom” by Anthony Hamilton and Elayna Boynton. This again has a Western feel to the song and opens with Django asking a girl who is working on the plantation if she recognizes the two men in the distance, to reassure him that the men are indeed the Speck brothers. As soon as Django spots one of the brothers, the scene turns to a flashback of him and his wife trying to escape from a plantation and being caught by the Speck brothers with the singer of the song singing the words “freedom”. The lyrics ”facing the truth that I discovered” is talking about how Django and his wife are now facing the truth that they will never escape from their plantation. The music and scene use pathos to draw on the viewer’s emotions as they watch Django’s wife whipped by the Speck brothers as Django is begging them, while on his knees, to whip him instead. The song creates a feeling of sadness, making the viewer feel as if they are in Django’s position being so close to freedom, yet not being able to get away.
Finally, my favorite song from the movie, “100 Black Coffins” by Rick Ross, draws on the viewer’s logos as the viewer’s ear is drawn to the famous commanding voice and beat of Rick Ross. The soundtrack begins with whistling and chains clinging together which fits perfectly with the scene as the slaves are following Django and the other men as they make their way to the plantation owner’s “Big House” while being chained together. The songs lyrics “I need 100 black coffins for 100 bad men” combined with a loud commanding beat is foreshadowing an event that is coming up in the movie that involves Django going on a killing frenzy in order to gain not only his own freedom, but also his wife’s freedom too. “Loud sounds tend to be forceful, intense, and threating”, which is exactly what the scene is trying to exhibit to the audience (Sound, 208). “Music can be used as foreshadowing, especially when the dramatic context doesn’t permit a director to prepare an audience for an event" (Sound, 214). The song is preparing the audience for the massacre that Django is about to put on in the scenes coming up. This song sets the mood for the viewer and the fast taps of a snare drum draw on the intensity of the scene.
Overall, I believe the soundtrack to the movie “Django” did a very good job keeping the viewers drawn in and creating an intense Western feel to the film. As a result, I give the “Django” soundtrack five Slurpees for its use in the film.