Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo Di Caprio,
Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Walton Goggins, Dennis
Christopher, James Remar, Michael Parks, Don Johnson
5 stars (out of 5)
Set in the slave-ridden Deep South where wealthy plantation
owners rely on African labour to support the cotton economy,
Django Unchained tells the story of one slave's quest to
reunite with his wife.
Shackled and forcibly marched through the freezing winter,
Django (Jamie Foxx) is unexpectedly freed by Dr King Schultz
(Christoph Waltz), a travelling bounty hunter masquerading as
a dentist. Initially seeking Django's help to identify his
next bounty, Schultz (who despises slavery) agrees to help
Django free his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) from the
charismatic but psychotically unhinged plantation owner
Calvin Candie (Leonardo Di Caprio).
Tarantino is a master at distilling the big picture into a
collection of cleverly orchestrated sequences worked around
clever dialogue and interplay between the main protagonists.
Crafting his screenplay from a number of obscure film
references, Tarantino's mash-up of spaghetti Westerns and
'70s blaxploitation certainly lends a visual panache to a
story that blurs the boundaries between good and evil. Love
him or loathe him, there is no denying Quentin Tarantino's
reverence for genre and his creative ability to subvert it.
Dropping more N-bombs than a South Central gansta-rap crew,
this revisionist take on America's shameful past is brutally
confronting and thought-provoking. In crafting the
unconventional ''westerner'' character of Django, Tarantino
compels you on the one hand to cheer him along on his
journey, all the while blurring the boundaries between good
Liable to ignite debate about the wisdom of dealing with the
ignominy of the slave trade via frivolous dialogue and
visceral over-the-top shoot-em-ups, Tarantino's modus
operandi has and always will be entertainment, and Django
Unchained is top shelf. Gritty characters, evocative
cinematography, fantastic music and a liberal interpretation
of history, Tarantino has nailed a film that is as good as
anything he has done since Jackie Brown.
Best Thing: The casting. All of the performances are
Worst Thing: The length. At nearly three hours, a few
scenes could have been sacrificed.
See it with: Anybody not squeamish at the sight of
By Mark Orton