FILM REVIEW: Django Unchained

Quentin Tarantino is one of the most influential and finest film-makers of the past 20 years or so, and his latest film, Django Unchained does many things to back that up, writes Jake Cashmore.

The film is essentially, his own take on a spaghetti western (even though it is set in southern America), and as with most Tarantino movies there is no lack of great characters, unpredictability, witty dialogue, great soundtrack and excessive violence.

This is the story of Django, a slave in pre-civil war America who is given freedom by bounty hunter Dr King Shultz who asks Django to help him find his three former slave owners.

When Shultz finds out what a natural Django is at bounty hunting, he takes him under his wing and they go into business together. After a few successful bounties, Django asks Shultz to help him find slave-house owner Calvin Candie and rescue his wife, Broomhilda so he can be with her again. It is an epic western tale with a very Tarantino spin on things.

Two performances that particularly stand out to me in this film were that of Christoph Waltz who played Dr King Shultz, and Leonardo Di Caprio who played plantation owner Calvin Candie. I had not seen anything of Waltz until he completely blew me out of the water in Tarantino’s previous film Inglourious Basterds where he played the Nazi Col. Hans Landa, and he certainly doesn’t disappoint in this movie, he is a very charismatic actor and he gives a very, very solid performance.

Leonardo Di Caprio is also remarkable in this film, he plays a role you wouldn’t necessarily expect from him, even though we have seen him in more gritty roles most of us still see Leo as some sort of pretty boy, and we have definitely never seen him like this.

We see him play a malevolent antagonist with a beard and discoloured teeth, and to his credit he pulls it off astonishingly.

Jamie Foxx also gives a very fine performance has titular character Django, and Samuel L Jackson gives an exceptional performance as Stephen, an old house slave, and he seems to dominate all the screen time he has.

Django Unchained is nominated for five Academy awards including best picture and best screen play and it has won two Golden Globes.

This picture is a must see and I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Tarantino’s work.