Film Review: Django Unchained
Quentin Tarantino is a popular director for a reason: he usually delivers. “Django Unchained” tells the story of a newly freed slave’s journey (Oscar winner Jamie Foxx) to find and rescue his wife (ABC “Scandal” star Kerry Washington who’s screen time is disappointingly short) after they’ve been purposely sold separately by their owner. The plot unfolds like a rollercoaster; it’s initially all very fascinating as highly unusual circumstances lead to Django’s freedom and he becomes a bounty hunter, but at the midpoint, things start to drag slightly and it doesn’t kick up again until the nail-biting end. The middle falls flat for two reasons: the length (some scenes are unnecessarily detailed) and the writing of Foxx’s encounter with Leonardo DiCaprio as Calvin Candie. Promotional trailers lead you to believe that Candie is an epic antagonistic firewall between Django and his lasy love, but Samuel L. Jackson’s character, Stephen, proves to be a more delicious villain. Another con: Tarantino is known for his over-the-top exaggerations of reality, but it’s hard to believe the level of sympathy and kindness to slaves of Django’s bounty-hunter partner, Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz). However, it would be hard for Django to be victorious in any way without a major help agent, not to mention Waltz’s performance is wonderfully endearing and entertaining. One of the best aspects of “Unchained” is the humor. Only Tarantino can manage to make a slavery-era film funny. The light-hearted parts off-set the darker ones, especially those provided by Don Johnson. I’m still not a fan of Tarantino’s love of graphic violence, but, all in all, “Django Unchained” is a fantastic film that will spark a lot of post-view discussion.
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