Django Unchained

Film auteur Quentin Tarantino has outdone himself again. After his last acclaimed release of 2009’s Nazi revenge flick Inglorious Basterds, the masterful and eccentric Tarantino has created an even grittier, bloodier, and badder follow-up film, Django Unchained. It’s a satirical spaghetti western/action thriller/period drama comprised of a spellbinding cast of Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington, and even Jonah Hill. Much like Tarantino’s previous ultra-violent, sadistic, and iconic films, such as Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, and Jackie Brown, Django Unchained delves into the 19th century slavery era vigorously but realistically. Although lengthy and slightly parodic, Django‘s blood-bath and comical scenes are what make the western thriller another Tarantino masterpiece. The story revolves around a smart-talking bounty hunter/dentist (Waltz) who acquires a traveling slave named Django (Foxx) to help him with killing bounties and collecting their rewards. During that time, they are led to Candieland, the biggest Southern plantation in the country, owned by the ruthless proprietor Calvin Candie (DiCaprio). Django plans on rescuing his troubled, enslaved wife (Washington), who belongs to Candie. As the 2 hour-45 minute epic plays, Django not only becomes unchained from his slave owners, but his anger and anguish is unleashed with merciless vengeance against the people who have disowned him. Through all the gore, violence, and torture that is perceived in Django, it delivers strong performances, superb direction, and an authentic screenplay albeit vulgar and edgy. Some may argue that Django is too vile and takes racism and slavery to a whole other level. But to be fair, most of Tarantino’s films involve pervasive language that includes the N-word, as well as daring violence. Therefore, with that in mind, the idiosyncratic 49-year-old director understands that movies like Django would cause controversy, but disregards it for the sole purpose of filmmaking, not trying to create a tense, uneasy atmosphere. If you’re not a fan of Tarantino or you just hate unnerving brutality in film, don’t see Django. But if you are a Tarantino fan or you’re looking for an energetic display of sardonic action, stylish thrills, and occasional comic relief, Django is the perfect specimen. Watch the trailer here.  

Grade: A-
Recommended: For Tarantino fans or interested moviegoers
Oscar Nomination?: Yes

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