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New Movie : Django Unchained Review

Updated on January 8, 2013

Released: December 25 2012

Producers:Reginald Hudlin , Stacy Sher, Pilar Savone

Director : Quentin Tarantino

Writer: Quentin Tarantino

Casts: Jamie Foxx (Django), Christopher Waltz (Dr King Schultz) , Leonardo DiCaprio (Calvin Candie) , Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson (Stephen)

Plot: The story of a freed slave ( Django ) who gets to work with a bounty hunter (Dr. King Schultz) on a mission to rescue his wife from he hands of a plantation owner ( Calvin Candie)


I have to say that the first time i saw the trailer for this movie, i was like "meh" .Don't get me wrong here though, i had and would always be a Quentin Tarantino fan. Even though i generally disagree with the kind of movies that his " alter-ego" ,Robert Rodriguez, directors, i still have to say that i always expect Tarantino when he cracks his fingers and decides to work on something . To be honest with you, throughout his close 20 years' movie career, the only Tarantino movie i have not seen is Jackie Brown (1997); so i can comfortably say that i have a pretty good idea of what goes through the mind of man dubbed the " Director Dj" when he releases movies to the public.

So the real question here is why was I skeptical about this one? Well like most people in his world, I tend to give movies what I would call a ‘glance judgment’ based on the contents of trailers; especially if the movies were based on a true-life stories or books. These contents include the casts of the movie, what the movies are about, how the clips of the movies were arranged etc. I am not going to go into details about the Django Unchained trailer but it failed my test to say the least. Even with this, I made the decision to go. “I mean what the hell, it is freaking Tarantino right? What can he possibly do wrong here? ” and sure enough, he did not disappoint me one bit.

I am going to try my best to write this without including any form of spoiler in it. Any movie based on Slave trade like any other ugly event that had occurred in course of history, is to be taken seriously(in terms of writing the script and directing it) As Spike Lee puts it, “ American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western It was a Holocaust. My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa.” There Tarantino had the challenge of telling this story in a funny way while at the same time offending as few people(that is if anyone even gets offended) as possible . The movie revenge won’t be as comical as I spit on your grave for example and not as serious as Rambo. So in a way, this movie actually relates to Inglorious Basterds. On one end, he touches on a very important topic of history taking care to avoid historical accuracy; while at the other end, there is the main character (who you secretly wished had existed) that portrays the imagination of those affected by this course of history. . To say the least, the idea Tarantino had for this movie was to deal with slavery like a spaghetti western set in the Deep South making sure not to use any documentary element in it. So in the director Dj’s own words “to deal with everything that America has never dealt with because it is ashamed of it, and other countries do not really deal with because they do not feel they have the right to.” Just picture it: a bounty hunter who rescues a slave and asks the slave to join him in killing white folks with bounties on their heads. What can be more daring and delicious than that plot? As Django says in the film, “Kill white folks and get paid doing it? What is there not to like about”; there is simply something brilliant about a freed slave getting a legitimate chance to revenge his past ordeal in his on small way. Moreover, there was actually a goal in the end (unlike most messiah like movies) – to rescue his wife sold out to a plantation owner.

As a well-prepared Tarantino meal, it contained all the necessary ingredients such ultra- violent scenes, unforgettable characters, random moments of brilliance, a Tarantino role in the movie, catch phrases and of course the occasional niggery. Seeing as this was a movie about slavery, Tarantino basically pulled out the finest of his nigger cards and went hard on it in this movie. I have to admit that I got a bit sensitive about this as the movie went on seeing as I was the only black guy within a stretch of cinema seats; but this did not stop me from enjoying yet another Tarantino masterpiece.

There were initially talks of Will Smith playing the role of Django in the movie but Jamie Foxx ended up being Django. Will Smith, for me, falls under the category of people I describe as chameleon actors- they can easily blend into any role. I mean he freaking acted Wild Wild West; so he had been prepared to be Django since the 90’s right? Jamie Foxx on the hand is probably an album or two away from being a world acclaimed R&B artist. So in a way, you can understand my skeptism about him playing Django. Even in an interview, he spoke about how he initially found it a bit difficult to blend into the slave character (that is probably why the stage of Django of being a slave was brief). But my goodness, he murdered the role. At the end of movie, I was like “maybe Will Smith wouldn’t have fitted the role”. It was as though Foxx used all the years he was not acting to practice for Django. Ok I might be exaggerating a bit, but he really did a fine job with the movie.

What can I say about Christoph Waltz that has not been said in 2hrs 32 minutes of Inglorious Basterds? I mean, Waltz was so good in Inglorious basterds I almost thought he was an ex Nazi .Maybe I have only seen a few of his movies to judge him, but for me he is the fine line between brilliance and comedy. Then we have the box office hit man-Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio for me has never made a bad movie in his whole movie career so using three to four lines telling you about his greatest or achievements would seem so superficial. But in all the DiCaprio movies I have seen, I have never once seen him play the villain; so maybe we can say this was a new challenge for him. So we have DiCaprio as Calvin Candie a cruel and charismatic plantation owner who basically has the most influence over the slaves in the whole movie. In his “Candy land” (cheesy right?), Male slaves are trained to fight to the death for sport, while female slaves are forced into prostitution. Might have seemed like a role with too much weight on I but who better than DiCaprio can the weight on his shoulders. I even heard had that he got injured during the movie, but decided to carry on. As for Samuel L. Jackson, who better can you use to play a head slave that turns out to be as racist as his white entourage?

So this is a most watch for everyone out there that was a feel of cinema brilliance and is old enough to understand what the big picture behind the movie

Verdict : 8.5/10


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    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 4 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      I'm a big Tarantino fan and I too want to see this movie. I have heard though that the run time is too long and that some folks worry Tarantino is making light of slavery with this piece. I'll check it out and decide for myself :-)