Review: Django Unchained

Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx in Django Unchained

The word subtle is not in Quentin Tarantino’s dictionary and thank goodness for that.

His latest offering, Django Unchained, is truly a feast for vampires: blood, various hues and shades of blood, and techniques of blood, spurting out of a human body.

There is a scene where the bullets keep piercing a dead man’s body, over and over again, blood splattering on walls as our hero Django crouches behind it for cover.

And another where a “bad” guy with an eye-patch is shot from a distance and his blood splatters over pristine white flowers.

There is a very fine line between sanity and insanity, between violence and gore, between blood drops and blood bath; and between a movie outing and a cinematic experience.

Somehow Tarantino knows these boundaries, even though he dangerously skirts the limits with each new offering. Luckily for us, he succeeds every time.

Django Unchained is a very welcome revival of the “spaghetti western” Italian genre of movie making.

The storyline is interesting. Some two years before the Civil War, somewhere in the States, is a slave named Django (well acted by Jamie Foxx) who is rescued by a ‘dentist-turned-bounty-hunter’ German named Dr King Schultz, superbly acted by Christoph Waltz.

Django helps him track down the Brittle Brothers and that earns him his freedom. In turn, Dr King Schultz helps him search for his long lost wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington).

Their search leads them to Calvin Candie (Leonard DiCaprio), the cruel but suave plantation owner – simply put, the bad guy – who owns “Candyland”. Samuel L Jackson plays his house slave Stephen.

The action is brutal but Tarantino’s script is powerfully thought provoking and hilarious. And slavery, brutal oppression and racism are heavy subjects.

But calling a spade a spade is Tarantino’s most redeemable quality as a filmmaker.

Christoph Waltz’s portrayal of his character is arguably the movie’s best aspect: he has mastered the art of perfectly harmonising kill shots with sublime humor.

And as he says in the movie, it hits the “bull’s eye!” Some of the movie’s most memorable lines and scenes come from this acting powerhouse.

In addition, there is a comic scene that shouldn’t go without mention: a group of men discussing the pros and cons of wearing masks before going on a rampage, and the rib-tickling fact that they can’t even see properly but who cares, as long “as the horses can see”!

Leonard DiCaprio says: “Gentlemen, you had my curiosity. But now you have my attention!” Well Mr Tarantino, you certainly have mine!

The movie had its Australian premiere at the State Theatre today, and is coming to Australian cinemas this Thursday.

Don’t miss it!


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