In his movie Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino explores 19th-century America and tackles the sensitive subject of slavery with a singularity that revives the Western genre. Carried by a dream cast, this story of love, revenge and violence is already one of Tarantino’s masterpieces.
Riding across Texas on his horse-drawn carriage, Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) — a bounty hunter who pretends to be a dentist — is looking for a slave named Django (Jamie Foxx). Schultz offers to buy Django’s freedom provided that he helps him find the Brittle Brothers, three wanted slavers who once owned him and his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington). The two men bond over this manhunt. As Django turns out to be a great bounty hunter, they decide to work together throughout the winter before looking for Broomhilda in order to buy her freedom. They find out that she is now owned by the rich and cruel Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). His plantation “Candy Land” has the reputation of being one of the most terrible estates in the country. So begins their rescue mission…
Quentin Tarantino is not new to the movie industry, his work is iconic and his talent undeniable. Which is why when he decides to film a Western, you can be sure it is not going to be like anything you have seen before. Tarantino twists the codes of the genre to produce a unique, revolutionary Western. As always in Tarantino’s movies, the soundtrack is brilliant. From Ennio Morricone to Rick Ross, this heterogeneous mix of delightful tracks perfectly accompanies the breathtaking performances by some of today’s best actors and actresses.
The storyline of the movie is rather straightforward, with just a few flashbacks that help understanding Django’s relationship with his wife. But the strength of Django Unchained really lies in the aesthetics of the scenes themselves and in the dialogues which will not disappoint any Tarantino fan.
Quentin Tarantino is a perfectionist director who pays close attention to details. Some very powerful scenes in Candyland were shot on an actual historical plantation called Evergreen. This shows the director’s dedication to his project and adds up to the intensity of the actors’ performances.
Sadly, unlike most Tarantino movies, Django Unchained lacks a strong female character. Broomhilda’s strength as a woman is concealed by the fact that she needs to be rescued by a man, which can be quite disappointing. Her strength is only implied by her ability to survive such a hostile world, but she is always depicted as a weak character. However, Kerry Washington’s performance as this very delicate and wounded woman is truly amazing, and she definitely proves she can play in the same league as someone like DiCaprio.
Django Unchained was a risky and very controversial project which could have resulted in a dark stain on Tarantino’s career, but this unprecedented movie is undoubtedly another well-deserved success for the director. It tastefully deals with many aspects of slavery in a quite unapologetic way. In other words, this very unconventional Western is definitely worthy of all the great reviews it received.
Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Produced by Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin, Pilar Savone
Starring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington and Samuel L. Jackson
Production Company : The Weinstein Company, Columbia Pictures
Release Date : December 25 2012
Running Time: 165 minutes