Published on May 20th, 2013 | by Richard Boom
Review: Django Unchained
In Tarantino´s older work the use of the western genre is present in the Mexican standoff in Reservoir Dogs to the absolutely brilliant opening scene of Inglourious Basterds, and not forget about the many ways the Spaghetti Westerns was present in the Kill Bill movies, from the music to the famous location of the wedding rehearsal. A Tarantino western was just bound to happen and with every movie the expectations soar high, to see if this movie heralds his first ´off´ movie or yet another masterpiece and Tarantino-instant-classic.
I might be better of to say that: NO, this is not the classic you might have been hoping up. The movie just seems to miss that strike of utter genius or the feeling that every scene, dialogue, actor, music score is somehow making the whole more complete and as perfect as can be. The complete story of Django has that touch of absurdity in which it takes (in this case) slavery into a whole new level of amazingness, somehow the building up of the story seems not as perfectly orchestrated as prior Tarantino movies.
We still get one amazing movie, but the story and all its ingredients seem to move along in a tad messier fashion. The rich dialogue is still outstanding, the various aspects are still myriad and the approach to this movie is yet again able to be looked at in vary different fashions, but it just feels less balanced overall and perhaps even a tad unfinished to the end.
Now do not be alarmed or even think this piece is not worth a minute of your time! It still is filled with the most interesting performances, with the most stunning of course the part played by Austrian-German actor Christoph Waltz, who deservingly received a Golden Globe, the Academy Award as well as the British Academy Film Awards for Best Supporting Actor for his role as undercover dentist / bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz. The scene in which he tells about the origin of the name of Django’s love interest Broom Hilda is typical for his approach of the character.
The villain which is Leonardo DiCaprio impresses as well although he sometimes is overtaken in acting and screen presence Samuel L. Jackson, as DiCaprio’s personal house slave, who truly is “the most despicable negro in cinematic history“.
Hero Django is played by Jamie Foxx, who never breaks character and is looking determined and deadly throughout the scenes and seeing the character mature as Django becomes Unchained is played admirably.
The musical score of this movie is as interesting as it is strange, since we hear country by Johnny Cash but also modern lyrics in a mix of James Brown with Tupac. It makes the viewer aware that the movie is truly fiction, although many would love to see it differently, but at no time is it distracting. Tarantino makes it work.
Director: Quentin Tarantino | Cast: Jamie Foxx (Django), Christoph Waltz (Dr. King Schultz), Leonardo DiCaprio (Calvin Candie), Kerry Washington (Broom Hilda), Samuel L. Jackson (Stephen), Others | Runtime: 159 minutes | Year: 2012 | DVD Release Date: May 16, 2013
C4S‘ view on the female aspect of the movie: women are only used as slaves OR are the love-focus of the heroes. No real screen time is attributed to this movie, although the pedistole on which Django’s wife is put, is admirable.