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Django Unchained- Movie Review- Brutal but not QT’s best

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Whatever Tarantino does will attract attention. And so it does. With Django Unchained, QT delivers another brutal movie to enjoy. Full of QT’s typical styles or clichés. Witty dialogues, excessive profanity, excessively brutal violence, good music, good character driven plot and totally Western. The way everything is woven together is just perfect.  The best aspect of the movie is that Django still uses Tarantino’s trademark tension and anticipation to its fullest.

It is the story of Django (Jamie Foxx)  a slave 2 years before the eruption of the Civil War. Django is soon acquired and given his freedom by bounty hunter Dr. King Shultz (Christoph Waltz). When King Shultz asks for Django’s help hunting down his 3 former slave owners he quickly discovers Django’s knack for the bounty hunting game. Later Shultz  offers to help him find his wife and bring her into freedom with him. They discover her new owner is the prominently rich plantation own Calvin Candie (Leonardo Di Caprio). Then they form an elaborate scheme to acquire Django’s wife (Kerry Washington). Samuel L Jackson plays a small role as a ranch owner where Django’s wife is kept. The use of music and the selection of music is perfect to the theme.

Each actor delivers a brilliant performance. However, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L Jackson, Leonardo Di Caprio and Kerry Washington stood out the most!  Jamie Foxx delivers his best performance in years.The build up  of Foxx’s  character evolving from a powerless slave to a confident powerful man is brilliantly depicted. Christoph Waltz portrayal is the backbone of the movie. QT used him to great effect at different points in the film. Theoretically Waltz’s Schultz is a representation of all those white men who raised their voice against slavery and contributed to it.  Schultz has been shown as a symbol of white men’s conscience, courage and virtue in the same way as Samuel L. Jackson’s Stephen is a symbol of Black men’s pusillanimity, servility and hypocrisy (clichéd?).  We don’t see Leonardo DiCaprio in a negative role that often. And boy oh boy he delivers a thumping performance.  I feel he deserved a backstory too. Kerry Washington plays the part of the slave-girl Broomhilda with exquisite charm among all male star cast.

Fans will get the expected vengeance and retribution tale they expected. Plenty of the violence along with some laughs and style. People who are not used to Tarantino’s style would surely shy away watching every cracking whiplash across a slave’s back or every  shotgun shot going through a body and every bloody punch in that graphic Mandingo fight. The racism is up front and centre.  Still the movie doesn’t deliver as much as it does like other Tarantino movies. It looks like Tarantino just took it easy.It doesn’t have the coolness or surprises of Pulp Fiction, or the great action scenes like Kill Bill’s. The beginning and ending are strong, but the second act is quite disappointing.

Overall Django Unchained is an enjoyable ride. Not among  Tarantino’s best, but it’s still quite an experience. For all of its numerous faults, I had fun watching Django and is totally enjoyable.

Rating:  4 out of 5

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