Film Review – Django Unchained (2012): Eddie’s Take

Django Unchained

Title: Django Unchained (2012)

Director – Quentin Tarantino (QT)

Cast – Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington

Plot – In this dark comedy/spaghetti western our protagonist Django is taken as a slave and taken from his wife. Django is rescued by eccentric bounty hunter King Shultz who wishes to partner up with him to help with some bounties. Their journey however takes a turn when Shultz agrees to help Django find and rescue his wife Broomhilda from the plantation known as Candy Land where Calvin Candy reigns supreme.

Gentlemen, you had my curiosity. But now you have my attention.”

Review by Eddie on 13/06/2013

With QT at the helm of a film you know you’re going to get a mix of laugh out loud moments, blood curdling violence and more than your fair share of great song choices not to mention copious amounts of distasteful language. With Django QT has managed to hone all his skills (which he began learning in a Blockbuster Video Store and subsequently over his film career) into a movie that is all at once funny, frightening and feverishly entertaining.

QT doesn’t mind openly talking about how much he loves the Spaghetti Western genre (Django’s name is a direct copy of the title character from the famous Italian film Django) and with this western epic his true love for genre comes shining through. We have sun blasted vistas, Ennio Moricone songs, gun fights, spurs and rap music? QT doesn’t mind mixing the old with the new that’s for sure!

The story of Django really is your typical – hero’s try to rescue maiden, what makes it stand out so much is the characters that take part in the journey. With Django, Foxx perhaps is the weak link, but no doubt an uneducated slave wouldn’t be the most knowledgeable of people and Foxx does about as much with the character as it allows. Where the film really shines is in its 3 supports.

Christoph Waltz so great in Inglorious Bastards again steals the show (and an Oscar) as the maniac bounty hunter King Shultz. His development over the course of the movie is a true work of genius by both actor and director. The other supports in DiCaprio, as the nefarious Calvin Candy and Jackson as sniffling old slave hand Stephen play against type as truly despicable characters but play their roles so well you can’t help but feel we have missed out on some truly great nasty villains from these guys in the past.

Django certainly isn’t for everyone. It has as much use of the “N” word as an NWA album, violence that may make your stomach churn (in my cinema screening there were more than a few walkout’s in some particularly brutal scenes) and QT himself could do with a little self-restraint in the editing suite along with a better dialogue coach for his cameo as an “Ozzie” slave driver.

Overall though these are truly small issues in a film that is brimming with heart, a whip-smart screenplay and enough scene stealing acting showpieces to fill a plethora of other movies. In the end Django is a fantastic homage to not only the spaghetti western and the human spirit but a testament to just how over the top but wonderful a time at the movies can be.

5 homemade masks out of 5

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