Film of the Day: Django Unchained (18)
The only film director working today who can drum up huge anticipation a year (sometimes two) in advance of his next release is the one and only Quentin Tarantino. The king of cult. The master of dialogue. The god of Mexican stand offs.
DJANGO's darkly weaved narrative
For his eighth film, Tarantino tackled America’s dark past with slavery. The story is set in the American south, two years before the Civil War. Schultz (Waltz) rescues a slave named Django (Foxx); one of a group of chained slaves on their way to be sold and recruits him as his sidekick. He promises to grant him his freedom and assist him in finding his wife Broomhilde (Washington) if Django helps him track down two of the South’s most wanted and claim the reward.
The two of them make a great double act with the self contained Django acting as foil to the flamboyant Schulz. Their quest eventually takes them to Candyland, a Mississippi plantation owned by the debonair Calvin Candie (Di Caprio), whose sadistic speciality is grooming gladiator slaves for “death” fights and where Broomhilde is still a captive slave.
django is one of tarantino's most important works to date
Of course this is a Tarantino film so violence plays a part, but no where near as much as you'd think. Yes, there is one hell of a gun fight towards the end, but its almost like Tarantino saved it all up for one splendid showcase. The dialogue runs as freely and smoothly as any previous Tarantino flicks. His knack for writing naturalistic dialogue that still holds an heir of freshness to modern day motives is strong in this film but never seems out of place.
Django Unchained features the ever so talented Christoph Waltz, who again delivered a career defining performance as Dr. King Schultz. Waltz is quickly becoming one of Hollywood’s leading actors with both his roles in the last two Tarantino movies landing him two Oscar wins for Best Supporting Actor. DiCaprio shows a talent for dark comedy delivered with panache and there is a chilling yet fiercely funny performance from an unrecognisable Samuel L. Jackson as Candie’s creepy, Uncle Tom type chief house slave.
Django Unchained is as vintage Tarantino as you can get.