Cert: 18 Runtime: 165 mins Director: Quentin Tarantino Cast: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L.Jackson, Kerry Washington and Leonardo DiCarpio
You silver tongued devil, you
So we’ve seen gangsters,mysterious briefcases and apache Jews, what was next for Quentin Tarantino? Yes a Spaghetti Western with some slavery on the side. Django Unchained is QT’s latest film and as always I am very excited, so what is Django Unchained? Django is out to save his wife from a brutal plantation owner in the latest genre mash-up. Django (Jamie Foxx) is a slave in America’s Deep South, whose wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) has been sold to ruthless plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). Rescued from his violent owners the Speck Brothers by bounty hunter Dr King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), Django is made an offer. Schultz agrees to help Django free his wife from the Candyland plantation if he will lead Schultz to a ruthless gang of killers known as the Brittle Brothers. Schultz aims to capture the brothers, dead or alive, and needs Django’s help. In return, Django will also be granted his freedom.The thing that surprised me about Django Unchained was the fact that underneath the dialogue , the stylish direction, the incredible humour and the heart-stopping (but few and far between) action set-pieces was that it was an oddly thought provoking film, particularly when it comes to just who the villain is, and their motivations. While I will not spoil anything here, the truth is, the real adversary of the film may not be the white plantation owner that Django is struggling against, but a far different character.
Tarantino’s new film is very deep in many ways, to be honest, whether it be within the context of the film itself, of the references Tarantino uses from his deep-seeded love and admiration of films and film making . Like all of his other works, it’s a labour of love. Starring Jamie Foxx, Christophe Waltz, Leonardo Di Caprio and Samuel L. Jackson, among others, it is a bizarre ode to the Western genre, blending different styles and genres in the process of telling it’s 2+ hour tale.The film is a marvel from everything on screen and behind the scenes. The acting is uniformly triumphant. Foxx plays the role of Django with a deep-seeded darkness yet also a style and even slight glee at times as he is given the opportunity to break free of his chains (both proverbial and literal) and do something to fight back against his life of oppression. Waltz shines once again after having broken through in Tarantino’s previous film, and delivers another grandiose, memorable character, proving to be one of the finest actors working today. DiCaprio shines as the disturbing Calvin Candie, giving us a role unlike anything we have seen before. And Samuel L. Jackson gives the best performance of the picture, even though his role is comparatively smaller than the others, making Stephen a complex, unforgettable, hilarious yet still oddly disturbing and terrifying villain of sorts. All supporting roles including roles by Walton Goggins, Kerry Washinton and Don Jonhson are played equally as marvellous as the main cast.
Tarantino’s direction takes a quantum leap forward. While he had explored action before in features like Kill Bill and Death Proof, here, he shows just how much of a visual artist he is, providing us with not only complexly thought-out scenes of dialogue and development, but also some of the most intense sequences of action and gunfire I’ve ever seen. One stand out sequence (which is so intense, the walls literally drip with spilled blood) is arguably in the running for the best on-screen shoot-out of the decade. His script work and writing is as strong as ever, and the dialogue shines as always. This film is another example of just how much of a cinematic genius Tarantino truly is. All other facets of the film, from the costume design to the cinematography are also top-notch.This film, to me, is among Tarantino’s best. While it may not reach the demented genius of “Pulp Fiction”, it’s an outstanding revenge tale, filled with love and respect for cinema, and featuring memorable characters, outstanding performances, applause-worthy action and genuine, honest-to-god, butt-kicking film making.