Review of Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Django Unchained’

24 Jan

OK.  I know I’m probably rather behind here I finally made my way down to a packed London cinema yesterday and watched Tarantino’s latest masterpiece ‘Django Unchained’.  I’d heard amazing things about it and I thought perhaps they were inflated or subject to Tarantino-bias (because, let’s face it, many Tarantino films have achieved cult-like status and rightly so) but I loved it. 

I loved the retro Spaghetti Western genre in which it was filmed and of course the soundtrack was no less than one would expect from a Tarantino film.  What I really liked, though, was the sensitive way with which such a loaded theme as slavery was dealt.  I don’t think it was treated flippantly as very few people have argued – in fact, it was incredibly thought-provoking and has inspired me to learn more about such a fascinating and vicious era of history.  The film really demonstrated the sheer brutality of many white Americans who genuinely saw African- Americans as a subspecies and, in usual Tarantino style, there were disturbing scenes of violence scattered throughout. 

Stellar performances from Christoph Waltz and Leonardo diCaprio.  Waltz is so engaging and charismatic, he definitely overshadowed Jamie Foxx for me and I was mesmerised by his character of Django’s mentor, Dr Schulz.  I liked the way his character evolved throughout the film and some of the most tense scenes were when he and Mr Candy (Leo’s character) were at the dinner table.  And Samuel L Jackson’s character of the crazy old butler was enthralling and added a different dimension to the simplistic white vs black concept.  Here was a man whose love for Mr Candy was unparalleled – to the point that he had become seemingly comfortable with seeing his fellow African-Americans maimed and tortured.

What I found most haunting about the film was the depths of hatred that the black Americans were subjected to.  If you think about it, equality was granted relatively recently which makes the whole thing even more abhorrent. 

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