Q-Films Review: Django Unchained

Andre Kelley December 30, 2012 2

Django Unchained

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson

Studio: A Band Apart

Running time:  2 hr, 46 min

Language: English

Rating:  R

“Rotten Tomatoes” Critics Grade: 89%  Positive

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Synopsis (courtesy: Weinstein):

Set in the South two years before the Civil War, Django Unchained stars Jamie Foxx as Django, a slave whose brutal history with his former owners lands him face-to-face with German-born bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz). Schultz is on the trail of the murderous Brittle brothers, and only Django can lead him to his bounty. Honing vital hunting skills, Django remains focused on one goal: finding and rescuing Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), the wife he lost to the slave trade long ago. Django and Schultz’s search ultimately leads them to Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), the proprietor of “Candyland,” an infamous plantation. Exploring the compound under false pretenses, Django and Schultz arouse the suspicion of Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson), Candie’s trusted house slave.

Review:

In this long awaited, much hyped spaghetti-western revenge fantasy from Quentin Tarantino, I loved this movie from it’s opening frames. There’s not a shot wasted in this tale of a runaway slave turned free-man turned bounty hunter hellbent on saving his wife from her colorfully despicable owner, played, convincingly well, by Leonardo DiCaprio. The story and the characters are engrossing enough but the performances are what people are talking about. Foxx shows even more bravery in this role than he did in Ray and Samuel L. Jackson (almost unrecognizable) virtually leaps off the screen. There’s a subtle, underlying tension throughout the film that wound me up so tightly that it almost gave me a headache. The film does not spare us the atrocities of slavery nor the cruelties and language of that time and yet, I was mesmerized. It. Really. Went. There. However, there’s also parts that are so hilarious that you will laugh uncontrollably at the absurdities. Despite it’s comedic leanings, I found more honesty, truth and uncomfortable reality in Django Unchained than many so-called ‘hood dramas other (cough!) filmmakers profess to create.

Is Django for everyone? Probably not. But is it, in parts, a monstrous, chimerical, murderous, majestic masterpiece? It most certainly is. And as a man of color, there are portions that are extremely hard to watch yet impossible to turn away from. Foxx said it best on Oprah’s Next Chapter, “Everything this film makes you feel, you are supposed to.”

My grade: A-

2 Comments »

  1. Brandon Taylor January 9, 2013 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    This movie is Quentin Tarantino’s best work ever! Very highly recommended!

  2. Alex
    Alex February 11, 2013 at 2:50 am - Reply

    I didn’t get it. I don’t know if I was bored or just didn’t care. Maybe it was too hyped by the time I saw it. Not sure what was so amazing. I’ll try make it through all 5hrs of it again …someday. Or maybe I’ll just watch Roots. Enh?

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