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Monday, 21 January 2013

Django Unchained review

When you hear the name Quentin Tarantino, the chances are that images of bloody carnage, long scenes of slick dialogue and some of the most stylish shots in cinema are among the first things that your brain associates with the legendary director. His latest offering, 'Django Unchained' doesn't disappoint, nor does it shy away from blood and gore, with which the director essentially drowns the audience with.

The protagonist, Django (still a slave when the audience are first introduced to him) is soon rescued by eccentric bounty hunter Dr Schultz, who offers Django his freedom in exchange for his assistance on finding three wanted men. The pair form a sort of alliance, and Dr Schultz eventually helps Django try to free his wife from 'CandieLand', a ruthless plantation run by Calvin Candie. 

Jamie Foxx did a great job playing Django, particularly in the scene where Broomhilda is being dragged out of the hot box and you can see his eyes welling up. Djangois portrayed as a heroic cowboy of a character, which can be deemed as ironic. His character comes across as such an American hero, even though the people who surround him don't even consider him to be part of the same species as them. 

Christopher Waltz fully deserved the Oscar nomination he received for his performance. He stole every scene he was in as Dr Schultz, giving the audience a fascinating portrayal of a character who was well ahead of his time. Once again, the academy have snubbed Leonardo DiCaprio, and I couldn't be more heart-broken for him. He handled the complex character of Calvin Candie with finesse, and it was hard to take your eyes off of the actor whenever he appeared on screen.

Directing wise, Tarantino does what he does best... provide the audience with scenes upon scenes of ruthless violence, all of which are beautifully framed and shot with a certain type of flare that few other directors can manage to pull off. One of the most stylish deaths I have seen in a long time came when a wanted man got shot whilst riding on horseback through a cotton field, his blood staining the cotton red. It was literally on screen for a second, perhaps two, but that ingenious shot has stuck with me. As for the man's writing... I never thought that I would say this, but the Ku Klux Klan scene was absolutely hilarious. Tarantino's use of dialogue may be long winded at times, but it's certainly never boring. The spiel that Candie gave about the difference between black and white people's skulls for instance had me gripped from start to finish, as did the fight he and Schultz has about hand-shaking. It's amazing how Tarantino can build tensions so effortlessly using only a conversation and clever use of editing. 

I have seen some amazing films this year already, but I've got to admit, 'Django Unchained' has been my favourite thus far. In Tarantino we trust.

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