Genre: American Western
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson
Classic western with a twist and classic Tarantino at his best! From the garish red font of the intro credits to the crimson blood spilling out in gallons in every gun fight, his trademarks are all over.
The film is set in 1858 and begins with a group of six male slaves trudging across Texas, in the ownership of the Speck brothers. That night, they are stopped on their way by another traveller, apparently a German dentist – Dr. King Shultz (Christoph Waltz), who’s looking for a particular slave. He identifies him as Django (Jamie Foxx), a slave who can recognize the three Brittle brothers. Shultz buys off Django, but frees him, treats him with great respect and allows him to ride a horse (considered outrageous at the time).
They arrive at the town of Daughtrey, where the town’s folk are quite appalled at the sight of the duo. They seek a roof at a local inn, which angers the owner. When the sheriff arrives at to deal with the issue, Shultz shoots him in front of the entire town. Then the marshal is brought in. He orders riflemen to set their sights on the inn doors, and beckons Shultz and Django to come out. They surrender, though Shultz proves that the sheriff was actually a wanted outlaw and explains that he, himself, is in truth a bounty hunter! With this, the duo move out of town.
They move to a plantation, where Django identifies the Brittle brothers. He witnesses two of the brothers cruelly torturing a miscreant slave. His blood boils and he takes matters into his own hands, brutally killing them. Shultz takes care of the other Brittle with a single shot from his rifle.
That evening, Shultz learns that Django has a wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) and that they tried to run away together from their owner. They were caught however, and as punishment were sold separately. Shultz determines to help Django reunite with his wife, if he promises to aid him with his bounty hunting through the winter. In this sense Tarantino has strayed off the beaten track. Seeing a cowboy clad from hat to boot in leather on a snowy backdrop is a sight for sore eyes!
With some money in their pockets and the last mounds of snow melting away, the duo head to Mississippi and learn that Broomhilda is in the service of Calvin Candie(Leonardo Di Caprio), a fantastically rich plantation owner and a savage slaver. Django and Shultz make way for Candyland, Calvin’s plantation under the guise of Mandingo fight patrons, looking to purchase a Mandingo. They meet Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson), Candie’s unctuous servant, who’s unable to stomach how Django lives as a free man.
Their elaborate ruse stands on a precipice, where one small mistake could lead to a blunder, forcing the wrath of Candie. Can Django and Shultz bend him to their will or will he just snap?
The movie is packed with action, emotion, subtle comedy, a classic boy-saves-girl central plot and a despicable villain. It does drag a bit in the middle, but all the same is entertaining. Dialogues in the film are the rich, sweet icing on the cake that is this Tarantino movie. Quick-witted and timed to perfection, they are a treat!
Christoph Waltz, who worked with Tarantino in Inglorious Basterds as Hans Landa, returns with a stellar performance that will blow your mind. Jamie Foxx brings his A game as the timid turned deadly Django, who wields a revolver with panache. It goes without saying that Leonardo DiCaprio only adds to the already amazing star show. His portrayal of the the brutal yet charming Candie is very convincing. Don’t miss Tarantino’s cameo, as well as Franco Nero’s (the original Django from 1966).
The final verdict – whether you’re a western film fan or not, GO watch Django Unchained!
SingleQuote Rating: 9/10