Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Django Unchained - My Review

Django Unchained  -  2012  -  Directed by Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino's latest film is a bold, bloody, daring, perversely funny, controversial, violent, revisionist take on history and its also entertaining as hell. Oh, and its his best work since Pulp Fiction.

Jamie Foxx stars as Django, a slave who is bought by Dr King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) and enlisted in his plan to help him track down 3 brothers that Django can identify and then collect the bounty and in return he agrees to help Django rescue his wife who is owned by Calvin Candie (Leonardo Dicaprio). In atypical Quentin fashion the film is told in linear narrative and follows Django and Dr King (QT has always loved playing with character names) as they head from Texas to Mississippi over barren landscapes, snowy mountains and Robert Richardson's breathtaking cinematography elicits memories of Robert Altman's classic 70's film, McCabe and Mrs Miller. It is certainly the best looking QT film so far.

Once the second act starts and Django and Schultz head for Calvin's plantation the true intentions of Tarantino begin to show. He depicts slavery in all its brutality featuring mandingo fights, whippings, slaves being torn apart by dogs and the most liberal use of the "N" word ever heard in a film. QT is not interested in floating around the word for meaningless impact though. Every member of society in the film, most prominently polite society, views the word as the only way to describe their property. It is an ugly word and he doesn't flinch from acknowledging it.

While Leonardo is quietly menacing as Calvin, the true horror of the plantation is Calvin's loyal servant Stephen, played with such evil and abhorrence by Samuel L Jackson that he easily becomes the most villainous character to ever inhabit a QT film.

The film moves at a steady pace towards the ultimate bloody third act and violent it is. Tarantino wants Django to get his revenge and revenge he gets by any means necessary.

Whats ultimately the most surprising about this film is how much humor exists in it. It isn't played for irony rather more absurdity and one of the movie's biggest laughs comes at a KKK rally. Nothing is off limits to Tarantino and this is a fresh take and molding of two genres he so lovingly adores, Blaxploitation and Spaghetti Westerns and the result is the directors best film in 15 years and this years best film overall.

Rating: 10 out of 10

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