Film Review: “Django Unchained”

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Django Unchained, 2012

dir. Quentin Tarantino

★★★★☆

I saw this a week ago and still haven’t got over how awesome it is. Tarantino is great, Jamie Foxx is quickly becoming a god in my eyes, Christoph Waltz is already larger than god, and I’m going to personally stomp over wherever it is that they make award decisions if they don’t give Leonardo DiCaprio something soon. Okay? Okay.

First of all, I really like Tarantino’s style. He’s an auteur, as we all know, and he’s got this very peculiar thing about him. It’s bloody, vicious and very realistic, somehow. I love it! But I haven’t seen all of his films yet – onlyDjango, Inglorious Basterds, Pulp Fiction, Grindhouse and Kill Bill – but the ones I have were incredible! I love how he’ll have a five plus minute sequence on how they name a sandwich in France, then move on to another long sequence with guns, bullets, and a litres upon litres of blood. It’s uncomfortable and a bit disturbing, and I adore it! Django Unchained is great like that. There are some brilliant fight scenes – even fist fights – and they are very uncomfortable, but you can’t look away. Like a car crash, but good.

What I also love love love! about this film is the score. I’ve been teaching myself a bit about movie scoring, so I’ve been paying a lot more attention to these bits of the film that sometimes go unnoticed as you get lost in the action. But the music here – as in all of Tarantino’s features – is just great. Especially the title song, which is right from the original Django in the 60s.Tarantino himself has said that the soundtrack is very eclectic and I believe that it sort of adds in some way to the general feel of the film. Especially the Rap bits (“100 Black Coffins” written by Jamie Foxx and Rick Ross is beyond awesome, and its sequence in the movie is one of my favourites) (although I am particularly fond of that song from the trailer, though I don’t know the title) But we also get old spaghetti Western tracks and a song by John Legend specifically written for this film (“Who Did That to You?”). It is all around a jolly fest of great music.

However, what made this film was its title character, played by one Mr Jamie Foxx. He is just great here. Not overly cocky, but confident; strong and vicious, but loving with his wife; willing to learn and quick with a gun. He pulled this off tremendously, so kudos!

Christoph Waltz was also amazing as Dr Schultz. I think we all remember that scene in Inglorious Basterds when he’s in Shoshanna’s family’s house. And the one with the strudel. God, he’s great. But in here he’s just brilliant. He’s a killer, but there’s not hint of those Western “rogue” Eastwood things. He’s not a mercenary, just a bounty hunter, and he’s happy and jolly at times, with that adorable smile of his. I’ll stop fangirling over Christoph Waltz now.

Can I say how much I loved Samuel L. Jackson here? He was bloody brilliant! You can just tell he’d be one of those old men sitting on the porch, yelling at kids to get out of his lawn. With that frown and the way he talked to Monsieur Candie (DiCaprio), I just couldn’t keep a grin off my face. Don’t judge me if I say that I chuckled every time he said “motherfucker”, I’m just human. Anyway, he was Stephen, a sort of governor of the household, taking care of the servants and all. He’s also seemed to have raised Monsieur Candie because they have a strong bond. It’s great, both actors play that relationship really well.

Which brings me to Leonardo DiCaprio, who was simply magnificent here. I’ve never seen him in such an evil part, and it was incredibly refreshing. You know about the blood scene, right? That he cut his hand and kept on acting, so the horror in Kerry Washington’s face as he runs his bloody hand through her cheeks is real. A bit too method? I think it was fantastic. I was in awe the entire time, because he managed to create this horrible human being of a character, just plain evil, but so charismatic at the same time. Fascinating.

Bringing this to an end, I’ll leave with the highest recommendations to go see this. Unless you don’t care much for violence and gore. And nudity (yeah, there are a couple of full-frontals). If don’t mind any of that, go ahead and enjoy yourself.

review by Mariana Duarte

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