FILM: Django Unchained
Tarentino films are a genre in itself. Ultra violence with 80’s B-movie influences added with great scripts and brilliant soundtracks. And Django Unchained is a classic Tarentino film. The subject of the civil war and slavery in America is hot topic right now with Spielberg’s Lincoln soon to hit the cinema screens. Django Unchained is unlike Lincoln. Set two years prior to the civil war Django is a newly purchased slave enroute to his new plantation when a Dr King Schultz, a German dentist comes to purchase a certain slave. There is drama, guns go blazing and so the story begins. The story is essentially of two bounty hunters making some money over the winter to then go and rescue Django’s wife Broomhilda. The story is simple enough but then again nothing is simple. The film fascinates in with frankness about the fact that slaves are not educated therefore don’t understand many words which brought about a great deal of comedy. The idea of receipts for every transaction in slaves. The idea that they were commodities rather than human beings and there’s emphasis on that. And interestingly that they didn’t consider slaves having the right to marry. The latter is something I never knew.
The script is great but nothing compared with the performances by the cast. Christoph Waltz is a master of words and delivery. He has the capability to make everything sound reasonable which is an extraordinary ability. The fact that he can converse about hunting Jews or in this case facing a town full of people with their shot guns in his direction and merely explain the situation he finds himself in is both hilarious and mesmerising. To be honest I’d gladly just watch him talk, even if there was nothing else happening in the film just him talking I’d be satisfied. The equality that Schultz creates between himself and Django makes everyone consider Django in a different way as a free slave he has no rights yet he is not anyone’s belonging. And Candie later states a slave is his property and therefore he can do whatever he wishes to his property. Schultz always maintains his views yet clarifies that others will not share his views which are true.
Leonardo Dicaprio as Calvin Candie is exceptional. Who knew he could be such a charismatic yet still threatening baddie. A plantation owner who is also a bit of a Francophile with bloodlust for the Mandingo sport he really is a funny thing to watch. When I initially heard of him being in the film I was very surprised yet he possesses that southern charm to perfection. Samuel L Jackson as Stephen is probably my favourite of all the performances. Jackson steals the film as the racist butler to Calvin Candie who is both hilariously rude and frighteningly cunning. He is almost a matriarch figure in the Candie household and isn’t shy of expressing his dislike Django and slaves in general.
The most disappointing thing in this film is Kerry Washington as Broomhilda as all she literally does is cry or appear as a vision to Django as a pretty little thing. She’s a brilliant actress and yet again one that seems to have been used as wall paper essentially in the film. The violence in the film is something that was criticised by the media. There was a lot of violence and blood exploding out of people and people just exploding. Was it his most violent? I personally found Kill Bill more violent that this and I found most of the violence in Django Unchained more comic rather than aggressive.
I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the film, enough so that it made me forget the idiotic obese couple sitting next to me eating what looked like my body mass in popcorn noisily. Maybe not one for a romantic night out or even those who are a tad squeamish but will guarantee to entertain.