DJANGO UNCHAINED – With Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Johnson and others.
Quentin Tarantino tackles the Western genre in Django Unchained, an epic tale of revenge and redemption set in the American Deep South at the height of institutionalised slavery. Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz have great chemistry as the leads, portraying the freed slave Django and bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz respectively. Their odd partnership and strangely endearing friendship is one of the movie’s great strengths. Waltz, especially, shines in the role of Schultz, providing a character to rival his celebrated performance in Inglourious Basterds, his previous collaboration with Tarantino.
The film raises interesting questions about the nature and role of violence in the cinema, as is usually the case with Tarantino’s movies. Django Unchained is arguably the director’s bloodiest vision yet and might even make seasoned movie-goers flinch. Both the atrocities perpetrated by slave traders and owners and the vengeful violence meted out to them by the protagonists is presented in lingering, agonising detail. Movie-goers should be aware that this is an exceptionally graphic and possibly disturbing movie.
Ultimately, Django Unchained exists to entertain, and in this respect it is a rousing success. Despite the violence, the story grabs the viewer from the first frame and keeps the attention riveted to the screen for the entire running time of nearly three hours. Every element of the movie, from the performances to the cinematography, is in place and of the expected high standard. The script also deserves praise for being chock-full of well-written, entertaining dialogue. The lengthy scenes of dialogue provides a good balance to the bloody action scenes and are every bit as entertaining, thanks to fleshing out the well-rounded characters and their relationships to one another.
For viewers who can stomach its content as well as its long running time, Django Unchained provides an engaging action spectacle, as thought-provoking as it is violent.