Django Unchained review – parting shots from the big screen

Posted on 27 March 2013
By Andy Johnson
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The power of Django Unchained is bound up in Quentin Tarantino’s fearless approach to examining the bloodied corpse of slavery, whipping it across the face, before pumping its writhing body with enough buckshot to end the Civil War.

Django is essentially a Spaghetti Western mash up with a German legend woven into its narrative and marks a stunning return to form for the writer-director.

The Pulp Fiction mastermind draws stunning performances from his stellar cast, including Oscar winner Christoph Waltz who is a pure joy to watch as the German bounty hunter boasting better linguistic skills than the poor souls he dispatches, with even greater prowess behind his pistol.

Taking his interpretation of the Jew Hunter in Inglourious Basterds to a new, masterful plateau. He rolls Tarantino’s dialogue around his tongue like he’s savouring every mouth watering moment of a garlic buttered steak and proves his acting calibre.

The vocal backlash from a minority of the black community and Spike Lee are ill-directed. Tarantino is now a master of his craft and story telling and Django Unchained can lay claim to being the biggest movie narrative against the horrors of slavery, opening a direct discussion about a period of US history, which is largely kept hidden away in embarrassment.

In Django, Tarantino has created a great black superhero which will no doubt prove to live in movie folklore alongside Clint Eastwood and The Man with No Name.

One of the special cinematic moments in the film comes when Django takes his first bounty and Schultz picks off the last escaping Brittle Brother with his rifle and as his dying carcass slips from the horse, we see a splash of hot blood drench the while cotton bolls and the roller coaster ride of revenge begins.

Critics claimed that Leonardo Di Caprio steals the show as plantation owner Calvin Candie, but Jamie Foxx gives a measured performance as the freed slave who develops his killer character as his journey takes him from powerless slave to vengeance wielding badass.

Samuel L. Jackson surely deserved at least an Oscar nomination for his whip-cracking portrayal of Stephen, the ‘house nigger’, who Sam has described in the movie’s press junkets as ‘the most despicable negro in the history of cinema.’

Sam told Quentin he was frustrated about being 15 years old to play Django and then realised he wanted him to play the most despicable negro in the history of cinema. Which was alright coz I get to put the character of Django in his place.”

Purple Revolver likes to watch Tarantino’s flicks a few times to be able to pick out all the cameos for his growing ensemble of actors. One of his favourite actors Michael Parks appears alongside Quentin as part of the mining gang and From Dusk Till Dawn’s Sex Machine (Tom Savini ) and Death Proof’s Zoe Bell pop up as part of the plantation gang with the killer dogs.

Tarantino also appears as the faceless Robert in the hilarious ‘bag head horse’ raid scene, giving Tennessee-born Quentin a chance to show off his Southern drawl.

Django is a joy to watch on the big screen and we urge you to take advantage of a chance to watch at FACT cinema tonight before it heads off into the sunset.