Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Movie Review: “Django Unchained”

Movie Review: “Django Unchained”

It was not until I saw “Inglourious Basterds” that I came to appreciate Quentin Tarantino. I did not like  “Pulp Fiction” or “Kill Bill”. “Reservoir Dogs” held no interest for me.  I still have difficulty understanding why some individuals, generally men, will watch “Pulp Fiction” over and over and over. But “Inglourious Basterds” got my attention.  I loved it. And I loved the tour de force performance of Christoph Waltz.  So, when I saw that the incomparable Herr Waltz would be in the cast of “Django Unchained” I knew I would have to see it.

Part of the fascination with “Django Unchained” was, of course, the controversy. The Hollywood moguls decided it was “insensitive” to release such a violent movie shortly after the unfortunate events in Connecticut. It is filled with violence. There is a lot of violence.  Some of it is horrifying. But, some of the violence is enormously entertaining.

Once again, Christoph Waltz gave an engaging performance. This outing he portrayed Dr. King Schultz,  a  German bounty hunter that travels with a wagon topped by a delightful huge tooth on a spring. Schultz comes upon the slave Django, interpreted by the wonderful Jamie Foxx, and liberates Django to help him identify some outlaws worth a huge bounty in 1858.  After spending some quality time together, Schultz agrees to assist Django in locating his wife, Broomhilda, a German-speaking slave who is now under the control of the brutal Calvin Candie, a plantation owner in Mississippi who is evil personified. It is the scenes with Candie (whose plantation is called….Candyland), played with oily, disturbing disregard of human life by Leonardo Di Caprio, that are the most disturbing.

“Django Unchained” is a unique film that could only have been filmed by Tarantino. It is an ode to spaghetti westerns, a morality tale that portrays the unconscionable cruelty of slavery, a comedy, and a triumph of good over evil. It is bloody. It is disturbing. There were a few scenes where I had to cover my eyes. But it is engaging and funny. It is over-the-top. I loved it and truly believe it was one of the best movies of 2012. 

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