Django Unchained [Movie review]

| February 18, 2013 | 0 Comments

By Ayomide Tayo

Django Unchained

Movie- Django Unchained
Actors- Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Leonardo Di Caprio, Christopher Waltz, Samuel L Jackson
Director- Quentin Tarantino
Written by- Quentin Tarantino
Distributed by- The Weinstein Company (USA), Columbia Pictures (International)
Duration- 165 minutes

Django Unchained is the 7th film from auteur and Spaghetti Western master, Quentin Tarantino. The film starring Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Leonardo Di Caprio, Christopher Waltz and Samuel L Jackson is an epic Western set two years before the American civil war.

Wrapped in Quentin’s patent ultra- violence style and dialogue, Django Unchained is the story of a former slave who tries to rescue his wife from one of the notorious plantations in the old South in America with the help of a German bounty hunter. It’s a tale of slavery, revenge and freedom set in era when it was unheard of to see a black man ride on a horse.

Christopher Waltz, who plays the role of the eloquent German bounty hunter by the name of Dr. King Schultz, might just be the best actor to star in a Tarantino movie. He sinks his teeth into the charismatic role of the bounty hunter who treats Django (Jamie Foxx) as an equal and teaches him a few tricks of the gun slinging trade. For now, no one reads Quentin Tarantino’s lines better than Waltz- well maybe with the exception of Uma Thurman, his muse.

Leonardo Di Caprio, who spots a Southern accent, is the charismatic Monsieur Candie who is the owner of Candie Land plantation where Jamie Foxx’s wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) is as a pleasure girl. Together with his head house negro Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson) they maintain an iron grip on the plantation by feeding runaway slaves to dogs or putting them in ‘hot boxes’ for 10 days, whipping their backs and showing the scars to guests. The role of Stephen is brilliantly played by Samuel L. Jackson. Stephen is arguably the veteran’s most annoying character since his role as an armed thief in the comedy classic Coming To America.

Jamie Foxx and Kerry Washington interpreted their roles well although they were slightly out shined by the trio of Christopher Waltz, Leonardo Di Caprio and Samuel L. Jackson.

Lately, Quentin Tarantino has been taking on heavier themes since Inglourious Basterds, the 2009 World War II war movie which takes on race superiority. Django Unchained is all about slavery and racism. In today’s world where a black man sits in the White House as the leader of the most powerful nation earth it is kind of hard to fathom some of the scenes in the movie- one of the most shocking being a scene of two black slaves fighting to the death cheered on by Monsieur Candie.

Yet despite all the evil things done to black people in the movie, Quentin Tarantino creates outlets for justice. The scene where Jamie Foxx whips one of the white men who whipped his wife silly before he empties bullets in his chest is cathartic not just for the Django but the viewers who watched as Kerry Washington’s face was scarred with a hot iron. In the beginning the freed slaves who had been walking in the freezing cold blasted the head of their former owner. This balances the scale of injustice.

Throughout the movie, Django is a strange creature. Many people don’t know how to treat him or react to him. Some black slaves can’t comprehend he is a free man and some envy him while white slave owners don’t believe that a black free man exists. Jamie Foxx riding on a horse is a metaphor which says that he isn’t you average negro as he looks down on black slaves who are forced to march. Ironically, the person who identifies that Django isn’t your simpleton negro is the racist Monsieur Candie himself. The clash of egos between Django and Stephen is a portrayal of the clash between the proud independent negro and the subservient negro.

Feminists might balk at Broomhilda’s character for not doing much apart from being the woman who must be saved. I do feel that Kerry Washington’s character should have been more involved in the plot.

As expected the dialogue in the movie is compelling and the soundtrack is spectacular, ranging from soul to rap. Of course the violence is over the top- which Tarantino movie isn’t. In Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino cuts his annoying habit of unnecessary dialogue which has been one of his most infamous trademarks (watch Reservoir Dogs).

Since his 2007 flop, Death Proof, Quentin Tarantino has rebounded with heavier movies. Django Unchained is his latest spectacle which tackles the issues of slavery and freedom through his trademark strengths- glorification of violence and forceful dialogue. Quentin Tarantino brings back the old movie Spaghetti Western genre with the heavy gun play. It is captivating from the word go and it doesn’t let go until everything goes BOOM!

Rating- 4/5.

Culled from :Here

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Category: Entertainment