After a bounty hunter named King Schulz frees a slave who goes by the name of Django, a partnership is later formed which is utterly profane during the 1850’s. A black man getting preferential treatment as he wardrobes tailor made suits, possesses the finest arsenal and rides off in the sunset as his counterparts remain shackled.
Schulz’s hatred for the treatment of slaves results in an odd couple pairing; as the 2 ride off across the west in a quest to save Broomhilda; Django’s wife. Linking her to a farm in Mississippi, both craft a cunning plot that involves a lot of winged bullets and bloody scenes. The inclusion of spectacular performances by Samuel L Jackson playing the role of the kiss ass and only powerful black man further livens up this story.
Quentin Tarantino showcases his masterful writing ability once again with witty dialogue and a simple yet engaging story that never leaves us yawning. As a matter of fact, Django Unchained is his most successful film followed by Inglorious Basterds and Pulp Fiction.
But despite his devotion to the graphic scenes marred with gushes of blood and falling corpses, he plots Django around a crucial part of the American history; Slavery. He uncovers these forgotten graves through the civil war period as his portrayal sees what a world in the 19th century would be like if the power dynamics shifted.
We are hooked right at the beginning as the opening showcases a very raw and rustic setting. It’s nightfall, and a trail of slaves connected with leg shackles are being led through Texas. This is when the curious, chivalrous, and intriguing Dr. Schultz played by Christoph Waltz makes his first appearance; and it’s only his way or the highway from that moment on.
Contrary to expectation, Schulz treats Django as an equal. Even after helping Schulz find the Brittle Brothers on a farm in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Django tells him about his wife Broom Hilda which he personally relates to. He decides to help Django find her and this is where the film digresses to a different trajectory.
Masqueraded as prospects interested in Calvin Candie’s mandingo fighting inventory, they play along until they get to purchase Broom Hilda at an irresistible offer. This sets us up for an exciting and gut-wrenching climax where Quentin uses all the fake blood in the world to conclude his grueling tale
Being etched as one of the best film auteurs in history, it doesn’t come as a typical feat for Quentin. For the lethal lines he peppers in and around; viewers can’t seem to get enough even when not much is going on.
Lines such as “State your business or prepare to get winged” or “I’m curious what makes you curious” just resonate with us on a different level. The man is a master at dialogue writing that it almost wants us to teleport to the time period to witness these characters interact firsthand. Furthermore his use of humor as a tool to not only break off the tensions; but also to add to the farce and the wicked world is truly sensational.
DiCaprio’s entire role is that of a terrible human being, but his dialogue is so quick witted and different from anything that we’ve ever heard that it leaves us salivating for more. Stuff like “I like how you die boy” and “The D is silent, hillbilly” are hilarious while sticking true to character at all times. Phrases like “I like how you die boy” further adds to the sadistic and cut-throat nature of this dog-eat-dog world that Tarantino created.
Characters and actors
When casting begun in 2011, the title character role was initially considered a nice fit for Michael Williams or Will Smith. But in the case of some of the most successful movies and TV shows, the final character is cast afterwards and turns out to be a great pick. This was the same case for Django Unchained where Foxx was picked to play the role. His humor, physical attributes, and a general disposition evidently matched with the character.
King Schulz, the dentist turned bounty hunter, played by Christoph Waltz is also indisputably a perfect match. It would be hard to picture the role played by someone else. He is intelligent, devoted to his work of trading corpses, and quite humane, satirically.
For Leonardo, he is another mastermind when it comes to juggling between humor and dark plots. A great example is in The Wolf of the Wall Street. But in any case, he utterly kills in every role he gets and this was no exception. He is a flamboyant farm owner named Calvin Candie with a temperament that is quite hard to make of. However, he is brutal, quite straightforward, and not the type to mess around with.
Other notable performances include Samuel Jackson’s hilarious portrayal of Stephen; the man known mainly for betraying his fellow comrades as he watches and sometimes demonstrates cruelty towards the slaves that Candie owns.
Music and cinematography
For this Spaghetti Western mash-up, the three-time Oscar award winning cinematographer Richardson says it’s all about creating tension between beauty and ugliness.
And indeed, most of the scenes did cut across the controversy behind the dropping of the n- word and the splendor of artistic improvisation. Dynamite explosions also drop consecutively and they do add brilliant hues for the film and great effects for the sound.
Finally, the selection of the tracks greatly complements the film. The main theme song by Rocky Roberts remains from the 1966 original Django. Other soundtracks include the Braying Mule by Ennio Morricone, Freedom by Anthony Hamilton, Black Coffins by Rick Ross among others.
Django Unchained might be a past decade antique, but it is a classic watch. In case you get triggered easily humorously speaking, you will love Django Unchained. And in case you have a higher tolerance to comedy like our editor, we can guarantee you more than a few perfect grins. However, you will be thrilled to a ton of action-packed scenes which come served by extra, bloody scenes.