Most of the recent westerns that we get from Hollywood are laden with bad language racial slurs. Each of them attempt to create a darker tone of the west than we usually get from Hollywood films. In modern days, darker films usually are accompanied by dialog rife with obscenities and slurs. This is trying to shock the viewer, and not rely on the strong storytelling that classic westerns usually have. One modern film that will avoid this linguistic issue, is Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven.
A few of the films and series that resort to dialog full of obscenity and racist connotation are HBO’s Deadwood and Quentin Tarantino’s two films Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight. I am not saying that this us an unwelcome approach, because I am a huge fan of Tarantino’s dialog, which adds to his shock approach to film.
In a recent interview with The Magnificent Seven director Antoine Fuqua, he tells Cinema Blend why he avoids this ploy:
“For me, what’s the point of it? To degrade a person? You can call somebody an a–hole. Does it have to be a word to degrade their race? To identify someone that way, it’s such an ugly word. What’s the point of it? And it’s interesting, if you don’t do it – if you succeed with the characters and the story and tell a good, entertaining movie – in a weird way, people forget. You walk out, ‘Oh that’s right, he was black, or Asian.’
As far as your experience with the story, as long as it has something specific to do with that thing, then what’s the real point? Because it’s an ugly word and none of us want to hear it. I certainly don’t want to hear it. Denzel doesn’t want to hear it. So why would we have to go to the set every day and make a movie and hear that ugly word when we are making a movie about guys who do the right thing? Where does that fit in?”
You can say that excluding profane and racist language from the film allowed Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven to nab a PG-13 rating, allowing a more widespread audience to experience the film. How will Fuqua deal with the segregation present in the Old West in M7?
The Magnificent Seven is in theaters everywhere.
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