Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Django Unchained (2012) - ★★★★½

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writer: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington

I don't know how Tarantino does it, but the more films he makes, the more entertaining they get. Django Unchained is a brilliant film. It has a strange mix of western, classical and hip-hop music, which generally describes the film itself. Sometimes it feels like a spaghetti-western, sometimes it feels like an old classic, and amazingly it has some ghetto elements incorporated too. Somehow, it all worked so fantasticly well.

Django (Jamie Foxx) is rescued from being chained to other slaves by Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), in return for some information about his former owners. Schultz is a bounty hunter, and takes Django as a partner, taking down wanted outlaws from all over Texas. When Django gets the chance to save his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) from the ownership of the cruel plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), he and Schultz jump at the chance. Candie's meddling head servent, Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson), does all in his power to foil their plan.

My first reaction to this film. "Wow." It is 2 hours and 40 minutes long, yet there was not one moment where I was bored. The action scenes are pumped with a brilliant adrenaline, something that most modern action movie directors could only dream of incorporating. You can tell that each surrounding, each piece of dialogue, and each casting choice was created with real precision. One thing Tarantino is famous for is micro-managing, which is clear with Django Unchained because of how perfectly 'Tarantinoesque' it all feels. This film is to western movies what Kill Bill is to samurai films. A brilliant homage to a legendary genre.

Christoph Waltz once again stole the show, in an albeit less interesting character than what he previously played in Inglourious Basterds. If he wasn't cast in the film, it wouldn't have been half as exciting or entertaining. His presence instantly grabs the attention of the audience. Leonardo DiCaprio surprisingly played a fantastic southern-dandy villain. How versatile is this actor! He was perfect for the role, and for a moment took Waltz's thunder, which is near impossible to do.

One of DiCaprio's best, most memorable performances.
I enjoyed this film on every level imaginable. The violence lived up to Tarantino's reputation, the music heightened every scene and made them memorable, the acting was extraordinary, and the story is highly interesting. I believe that this film should be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, and Tarantino may finally nab one for Best Director. Do I think this is the best film of the year? The answer is no. However, it's not hard to see why many people think it is.

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