A Spaghetti Western With A Slight Twist
As I said in my review for Dark Shadows, Quentin Tarantino is one of my top three favorite directors, along with Tim Burton and Martin Scorsese. He has a unique way of creating tension in a scene through the use of his dialogue. With this technique, he has made another success with Django Unchained.
Django Unchained is about a slave named Django (Jamie Foxx) who is freed by a bounty hunter named Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) who offers to help him rescue his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) and will give him his freedom if he helps Schultz find his intended targets who captured Django and Broomhilda and sold them. When they go to rescue Broomhilda, they find out she is held captive by a sadistic yet charming plantation owner named Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).
What I Liked About It:
Honestly, there wasn't one thing that I loved the most. I did enjoy the film, but I felt there wasn't really one aspect that stood out over the other. But, I'll start by discussing the acting. Jamie Foxx delivers a superb performance as the title character. Before he was cast, I heard that Tarantino originally wanted Will Smith for the role. But even though I love Will Smith, I have to say that Jamie Foxx did this role justice. Christoph Waltz gives a strong supporting performance as King Schultz, and deserved the Oscar he won for this movie. Leonardo DiCaprio completely plays against type as Calvin Candie, and does an extraordinary job at playing this disgusting human being with a bit of charisma. Even though Kerry Washington has minimal screen time and dialogue, she makes you sense the emotions that her character is going through as she is held captive. Though Samuel L. Jackson has a small, supporting role, he adds some dark comedic relief to the film.
The only other thing that I'll talk about that I liked is the direction. Like I said before, Tarantino knows how to create tension. He knows how to create it through his dialogue and his direction. There's even one scene where there is tension involving a hand shake. I don't want to spoiler it, so I'll leave it at that.
What I Didn't Like About It:
While I didn't mind that it was long, I thought it was a bit too long, but other than that, there's not much that I hated about this film.
Overall, Django Unchained is an action-packed epic that is made by Tarantino's traditional filmmaking style. It's well-directed, has superb acting from the cast, fun action scenes, and witty dialogue.
*Note: There is an extensive use of the N-word, but it's only to encapulate the historical context of race and slavery in the U.S.