About The Movie:
Jamie Foxx is Django, who we meet as part of a chain of slaves shuffling through a cold night. Django is found and freed by Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) a dentist-turned-bounty hunter. Schultz knows that Django can identify the three men he wants to find and slay, but has never seen. A deal is struck: Django will help Schultz, Schultz will then help train Django to free his wife, Brunhilde (Kerry Washington) a runaway who was forcibly separated from her husband and sent to the Mississippi plantation, Candyland. @ Candyland we meet Calvin Candie (Leonardo Di Caprio) a preening sociopath and slaver, likes to be called "Monsieur Candie," considers himself a Francophile ... and can't speak French. And last but certainly NOT leave we meet Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson) the head house servant at Candyland, he is both a coward and a collaborator, fearsome and pathetic, abusing as much power as Candie gives him against his fellow men.
What Is Good/Bad About The Movie:
Just in time to add gore and thunder to the end-of-year march of bloodless, whimpering, would-be Oscar contenders, Django Unchained, writer-director Quentin Tarantino's latest film, is in many ways also his best film, combining his maniacal style of mashed-up fragments from the cultural canon with a seriousness of intent that turns Django into a discussion of both pop and politics.
Django Unchained is funny and smarter than it looks at first glance. There's a lot in Django Unchained about slavery, social order when it comes to performed constructs and accepted roles. Moreover this film brings to mind how such a surreal lie as slavery defined our history.
The performances are astonishing. Foxx is heroic and haunted, Waltz a cavalier money-maker who becomes a moral man. Di Caprio is a bully and a dandy, Kerry Washington's Brunhilde is excellent as both vision of female perfection and real woman herself. And Samuel J. Jackson is both a coward and a collaborator, fearsome and pathetic.
I find this movie to be a ‘realistic’ approach to the slave days within the South. Tarantino holds back nothing in his portrayal of slavery’s cruelty, unabashedly showing unspeakable acts like brandings, whippings, beatings and even dog attacks. But it’s anything but gratuitous. By showing the true-life unspeakable acts that were committed against innocent people during that era, the director earns a powerful emotional response from the audience, making them beg for karmic resolution - and because this is a revenge story they get it in full force. Without the brutality we’d be cheering for Django getting his vengeance anyway, but by including it the movie actually gives you a sense of closure and personal satisfaction.
After a fluid, great first act, the second which follows Django and Schultz to Candie’s plantation and sets up the con that they plan to pull has lulls. But even though the lull got to me, Django Unchained still ranks higher than most of what cames out over the course of a year. Expectations aside, Django Unchained is a bold, fun, bloody ride with awesome performances, brilliant action, and a great story to tell - you know, a Tarantino movie.