This one I recommend.

This one I recommend.

Beautifully gritty; pure Tarantino

Beautifully gritty; pure Tarantino

django-unchainedQuentin Tarantino is back and he’s gritty as ever, this time bringing us a film set in an era where the violence and harshness of the mind of Tarantino truly fits like a glove – that of the Old West! Ladies and gentlemen, this is Django Unchained; expectedly released in my homeland far too late.

This is a film that will please fans of Tarantino and fans of Westerns alike, with its clever call-backs to classic Spaghetti Westerns and references to movies only the true buffs will have seen. Of course, one of the most prominent references being, obviously, to Sergio Corbucci‘s Django – the main star of which, namely Franco Nero, is given a wonderful cameo in Django Unchained, where he reassures the eponymous slave that he does indeed know how to spell the name. “The D is silent.”

But who is Django and what does he do? Well, he is a slave in 1858, he is played by Jamie Foxx and he has a lust for revenge. Whilst being transported to an auction for slaves, he is rescued from his chains by a smooth-talking dentist turned bounty hunter, Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), who promises that he will help him save his wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), as long as Django agrees to help him out with a thing or two – collecting bounties and such fun. So, what exactly is it that has happened to Django’s poor Brunhilde? Or Broomhilda. Easy, she’s been purchased by the film’s villain.

Leonardo DiCaprio plays our villain, believe it or not, named Calvin Candie – the wealthy owner of the home where Broomhilda currently works as a maid/slave.  This becomes the destination for Django and Schultz and it’s guaranteed that lots of gunfights, bloodbaths and attempts to make Django fit into a world ruled by whites occur during their journey there. Characters they encounter include a wealthy big shot played by Don Johnson and a frail old man played by Samuel L. Jackson. Yes! Sam Jackson as an old man that can hardly walk. And he still swears like a sailor. Delightful!

Leonardo DiCaprio goes villainous in 'Django Unchained'.

Leonardo DiCaprio goes villainous in ‘Django Unchained’.

Now, it is true that there is the occassional scene in Django Unchained that drags for an unnecessary while and a few gags that go on long enough to almost lose their appeal. But the aspects that prevent the film from reaching full perfection don’t really make it less of a great and fun movie.

The casting alone is really fascinating in this one. Sam Jackson’s old butler character and Leonardo DiCaprio’s menacing antagonist come as the most surprising. Even though DiCaprio may have been snubbed of yet another Oscar, though, the man who steals the show is Christoph Waltz – the man who did recieve a nomination. There’s just something about the way King Schultz acts so polite and well-mannered on the surface whilst hiding his blood-thirsty bounty hunter persona inside it all that makes him a ton of fun to watch, and he makes for a brilliant mentor to Django.

The soundtrack is another highlight here. Alongside the wonderful theme song from the aforementioned Corbucci movie and a few tracks by none other than the great Ennio Morricone, we’re also treated to tunes that seem a bit modern and might be considered out-of-place by some, even if they actually favor the tone of the film in a way. There exists, for instance, a hip hop song by musician RZA, as well as a track that features 2pac. This choice is interesting, but not everyone will like it, probably.

But Django Unchained is a great and fun film still. It is a film that will make you laugh, bounce with excitement and at certain times cringe, due to the violence, which is skillfully directed – when people are getting whipped you can just feel the whiplashes. And that’s no to mention all the attacks directed at male crotches.

Is this a perfect film? Perhaps not, but is it worth seeing at least twice in a row? The best way to end this review is probably by answering with a “Hell yeah”!

4.5/5 whatever

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