Django: Unchained (2012) Dir. Quentin Tarantino
Django: Unchained, a new Quentin Tarantino movie was recently released. After his attempts at grindhouse exploitation, we expected something phenomenal. There was a lot of controversy over this film, as Quentin is said to ‘glamorise’ the days of slavery. People found the subject matter distressing, which Quentin turns into a somewhat comedic adventure of revenge. It is comedic in the sense of the ridiculousness of it, which Quentin has perfected over the years. His shoot-ups are over the top; you see a woman being blown across the room with a shotgun. That was added, quite obviously, for shock value. Quentin, the king of shocking, disturbing and funny films, has continued his legacy with this all-star cast and phenomenal soundtrack.
That very formal introduction into the film may have you excited, assuming you’re into Tarantio. You may be thinking ‘oh, Pea Bo enjoyed this film so it must be good because Pea Bo is always right as well as intelligent and beautiful’. Well, you’re partly right, although I didn’t enjoy the film as much as I hoped. I was looking for moments of classic Tarantino to draw me in. There were no side stories, no fantastic quotable moments and definitely not as vividly violent as I had hoped. Yes people have quoted the film slightly, but is it really worth it? Are you just saying ‘Django, the D is silent’ at absolutely nothing for no reason? Yes, I thought so.
I will say that the casting was brilliant; Jamie Foxx performs well as a beaten down slave looking for both revenge and his wife. His wife, Kerry Washington is a beautiful young woman, fairly new to blockbuster movies, yet comes across as a natural. Luckily for this film, her screams are great. Then we have the German bounty hunter dentist, Christoph Waltz. A damn fine actor and an even better character. Somewhat detached from the social inhibitions of the late 1780s, he performs his job with little regret and no judgment. Despite this, he is the most lovable person in the film, as his lack of judgment towards humans makes him free to like and be kind to whomever he wants. He takes Jamie Foxx on as a slave to help him find his next bounty targets: brothers who had kept Foxx as a slave, which also happened to be the last whereabouts of his wife.
Now lets talk about Leonardo DiCaprio. I will also repeat myself in my utmost admiration for this brilliant squinty-eyed actor. What a delight to see him on screen, as he embraces every aspect of his character and performs SO well, I begin to forget he is actually an actor playing a role, and in real life probably isn’t as damn cool. In fact I know this from his continuous social media tirades to ‘save the lions’ and other boring endangered species. I don’t care about them Leo, just get naked and come here. No, don’t get mistaken. This isn’t because I want to do things to him while he’s strapped helplessly to my bed.
Let me reminisce about one scene in the film where he takes out the skull of the man who killed his father. It is said that during this scene, when Leo angrily slams his hand on the table, he accidentally cuts his hand open. Instead of throwing a hissy fit and asking for his mother, like so many actors would do, he continued the scene. His hand now dripping in blood, his face red from pain as he screams in surprise, we continue to watch as our mind agrees that this is in the script. It wasn’t. Neither was him smearing his REAL blood across Kerry Washington’s face as she sits next to him. The horror on her face is real.
Watch this film for Leo and Leo alone. Everything else about it is meh. Including Tarantino’s obvious cameo.