Quentin Tarantino just might have outdone himself – and that’s saying a whole hell of a lot.
The iconic director of such masterpieces as “Pulp Fiction,” “Inglourious Basterds” and the “Kill Bill” movies, delivered us another cinematic gift this holiday season with his newest film, “Django Unchained.”
Jamie Foxx stars as Django, a slave in 1858 America who’s been separated from his wife, Broomhilda, by their previous owners. Unlike his significant other, Django is given the opportunity to exact revenge on those who have wronged him. And it’s an unlikely hero who helps him do it.
A German bounty hunter by the name of Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) frees Django so he can help him identify a ruthless trio of wanted killers he is after. The two men team up to form a fairly odd couple of swift justice.
While the newly freed Django takes some time to adjust to his new role as an assassin-for-hire, it’s not long before Schultz shows him the ropes. He teaches him table etiquette, allows him to pick out his own clothing and trains him on how to use a gun – although the guy’s a gosh darn natural. After satisfying montages of bad guys getting theirs, the movie’s attention turns to saving Django’s long-lost love Broomhilda.
“Django Unchained” follows a long line of Tarantino films that are dialogue heavy. It’s almost his trademark. For those unacquainted with the writer-director’s style, I assure you, the dialogue is always captivating – thanks in large part to A-caliber acting by heavyweights Foxx and Waltz. Their conversations are always interesting. For what is basically a buddy film, you truly believe the partnership you see onscreen.
Leonardo DiCaprio also turns in one of the best performances of his career. More so than any other actor in the film, DiCaprio’s character is a far cry from the roles he usually plays. Don’t expect any Titanic-esque freezing-cold chivalry. The heartthrob actor plays a straight-up villain in “Django Unchained.” DiCaprio’s character, Calvin Candie, is a plantation owner with several eccentricities, including training some of his male slaves to fight to the death for sport. Candie is both charming and repulsive at the same time – a credit to DiCaprio’s acting.
Slavery isn’t the easiest subject matter for a film. While “Django Unchained” is a dramatic work of fiction and not a documentary, Tarantino’s movie is accurate in its inclusion of the N-word. Some, like Spike Lee, might take issue with that. However, it is true to the time period and helps display the full dirty reality that characters like Django and Broomhilda are subject to.
With Hollywood being so sequel-driven and formulaic these days, it’s refreshing to see such an epic piece of entertainment that feels like those involved with the film actually cared about what they were doing. It’s brave. Every few years, Tarantino gives us that breath of fresh air.
It’s hard to imagine him topping every movie he’s done up until now. But there’s no denying the feeling of full satisfaction you get after watching “Django Unchained.” I plan on revisiting all of Tarantino’s past films to determine which one is indeed the best.
But I think I already know.blog comments powered by Disqus