Django Unchained – Takes place in the Old West where slavery is excessively done at those times. It centers a slave named, Django who was freed by a bounty hunter, (Dr.) King Schultz who is in the disguise of a dentist. As the two grew a partnership together, Django decides that he needs Schultz’s help in freeing his wife from a plantation owner that goes by the name of Calvin Candie.
I couldn’t wait for Django Unchained, because it’s a Tarantino film – what more can you say? especially when this movie is going to be released in The Philippines in a solid R-16 rating with no cuts at all (as they say); In fact this is probably the first Tarantino movie that I have witnessed on the big screen. And I am very (VERY) happy to say that I had a bloody good time watching Django Unchained. As usual, Quentin Tarantino would share his love for films (or the “cinematic arts” if you’re that fancy). His work is pretty much proof of how much he loves film as he pay homage (in this situation) to old school spaghetti westerns and gives us something fresh at the same time. As a result, this movie is an entertaining homage of spaghetti westerns accompanied with his snappy trademarked writing style and over the top (gory) action scenes.
Right off the bat, in every Tarantino movie something worth anticipating from the man is his writing. Besides the action he offers, he’d give us some entertaining and hilarious quips from characters. It is rather challenging for some writers to handle a touchy subject on slavery unlike Tarantino who is a very unapologetic director/writer, especially for a guy who have excessively used the “N” word (which happens to be a rather poisonous word to say nowadays) in his past movies. I can actually see and sometimes understand why people would be disturbed by such word, especially when it is brought up on a touchy subject like slavery. I remember what Film Critic, Richard Roeper said in his review of this movie which is the use of the “N” word in this movie is more of a “reminder to Americans on how the word became part of the vernacular in this country and why it remains as such an obscenity” and that was pretty much why I didn’t mind the use of the “N” word in this movie, I see it more as historical accuracy than it being an “obscenity” and same to other illustrations that shows how disturbing slavery and racism were done back then.
That being said, Tarantino was able to deliver a hilarious, clever, and entertaining movie with his writing. Tarantino movies tend to be lengthy; in fact the movie felt like the three acts of the movie felt very separate to each other, it felt like they were telling a very different story that still ties-in to each other. The movie would excessively take its time in showcasing a series of scenes of just dialogues throughout the movie (as his movies would usually do) but his writing and direction made those scenes of just two (or maybe more than two) people talking very entertaining and it really engages you throughout the film; for the most part the conversation would end on an unpredictable turn for most parts of the movie, He makes a simple every day conversation feel intense and interesting in his past movies. And I thought that he always does a great job on doing that in his films and it definitely shows here.
The writing wouldn’t really work out on screen than it did in paper without the performances, and as always there are very entertaining and exceptional Oscar- worthy (I know, I’ve watched the Oscars, pretty disappointed that Leo didn’t get nominated) performances. To start off with the performances, Jamie Foxx; I thought his performance of this slave was very convincing, because he starts off as this very timid person because of his place in life (People like him back then are like that unfortunately) but as the movie progresses it develops him into the exact opposite of what he was. I liked the buddy-relationship he had with Christoph Waltz, seeing those two together doing their own thing was very entertaining.
Speaking of Christoph Waltz, he continues to do a great performance in this kind of role; it’s great to see him working with Tarantino again. Leonardo DiCaprio his performance is a very different performance from him as you never expected from him. The reason why I say “different” because if you notice his projects in the past (after titanic) he’s always this much “damaged” anti-hero who sets on a quest for redemption (either that or he’s just madly in-love with someone) but here he’s more of a flamboyant, unpredictable, and dark villain in this movie and even I have to admit watching his performance is fun to watch and I’m glad that he is doing a different performance. He was definitely the one who stood out in this movie as he steals the show every time he is in a scene. The remainders of the cast were all great as well, Samuel Jackson who pulled off a very hilarious performance; I thought he had a great on-screen presence right from the first scene he was in. I thought Kerry Washington wasn’t bad as well. Everyone in this movie were all great and we have (probably) seen that coming.
In the end, Django Unchained is a very original, enjoyable and entertaining spaghetti western movie from the one and only Quentin Tarantino. This is probably one of the best Tarantino movies I’ve seen and may be what should’ve been the best of 2012 (if this movie did get an early release date) to me. The movie is filled with excellent performances from the cast (especially for Leonardo Dicaprio). The movie not only showcases his brilliance in filmmaking and love to cinema but also how disturbing the practices of different forms of slavery were back then.
5/5 – EPIC WIN!