Saturday, February 9, 2013

Django Unchained Review

                Released last month, Quentin Tarantino’s latest film Django Unchained has been making a lasting impression on movie-goers and film critics alike.  This ensemble piece features an array of talent, including Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington and even Samuel L. Jackson.  Although some people consider it a “western” due to its nature and certain plot points, this film is a “southern” because the setting is America’s Deep South.  North, south, east, or west, Django Unchained is a must-see for any fan of Tarantino.

                Django Unchained follows a German dentist-turned- bounty hunter, Dr. King Schultz (Waltz) and a slave, Django (Foxx).  Once Schultz buys Django’s freedom, he trains him to become his deputy bounty hunter.  However, things take a turn for the unexpected.  When they discover the whereabouts of Django’s wife, Broomhilda (Washington), they set out to find her.  The ruthless plantation owner Calvin Candie (DiCaprio) is now in charge of Django’s wife, and the stakes rise in order to get her back. 

                This film was so wildly gory.  Classically Tarantino, Django was able to make me uncomfortable with the never-ending violence and blood splattered more excessively than the paint of a Jackson Pollock.  However, it is so insane that the display put on by all the special effects become a work of art before one’s eyes.  The immense amounts of blood seem to fly through the air ever so gracefully.  I almost have a newfound appreciation for the work put into the graphic aspect of a film. 

                For a while, Tarantino had wanted to do a “spaghetti western;” he first started toying with the idea in 2007. “I want to do them like they're genre films, but they deal with everything that America has never dealt with because it's ashamed of it, and other countries don't really deal with because they don't feel they have the right to.”  It’s about time he got to it, considering the success. 

                The all-star cast did a wonderful job.  Each of their performances was fantastic, individually along with connecting to the plot as a whole.  A cameo from Jonah Hill and a minor role of Samuel L. Jackson as one of Candie’s workers complete the cast list even further.  

                Tarantino’s film has been nominated for sixty-seven awards worldwide.  This includes five Academy Award nominations; best cinematography (Robert Richardson), best supporting actor (Christoph Waltz), best original screenplay (Quentin Tarantino), best sound editing (Wylie Stateman), AND best picture (Stacey Shur, Reginald Hudlin and Pilar Savone).  Django also won the Golden Globe awards for best screenplay (Quentin Tarantino) and best supporting actor (Christoph Waltz).  This was the second time Waltz won a Golden Globe under Tarantino as best supporting actor, the first time was for Inglorious Basterds. 

                Action-packed, historically accurate and even comic at points, Django Unchained is a must-see for Tarantino fanatics.  The all-star cast for this southern film makes it all the more worthwhile. Grossing over $100 million after the first three weeks in theaters makes it so.  Hopefully Django Unchained is able to prove itself once more at the Academy Awards ceremony February 24th and take home well-deserved honors.    

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