Yes, the old jungle saying is still true.”Nobody can film a bloodbath better than Tarantino and none can spill blood more beautifully than his characters“. 
Surprise to none, Django Unchained, written & directed by Quentin Tarantino is indeed a glorified account of blood sputtering revenge; set in an age of nobody’s seen no nigger on a horse.

In keeping with the code of Tarantino-esque school of film making, the first scene sets the tone and standards for the next two-and-half hours to folow.

Opening credits flash in over sized block RED letters to the tune of Django by Luis Bacalov.
Django, have you always been alone? Django, have you never loved again?
Love will live on. Life must go on… You cannot spend your life regretting.
Django, you must face another day.

The protagonist, Django (Jamie Foxx) and few other slaves in chains are being dragged barefoot across a forest on a chilly night. They come across Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz); a German dentist turned bounty hunter looking for our protagonist.

Sooner than than you know, Shultz lures Django to join him in the bounty hunting business. Django unsurprisingly accepts the ludicrous offer of killing white men and even getting paid for it. Then we’re told of some German mythology and also of Django once having a wife who is now the property of Calvin Candi – a hard core slaver, powerful and wealthy man in Mississippi. The duo then decide to travel South and retrieve the girl. The rest of the movie is a no-surprise tale of Django becoming the fastest gun in the South.

In spite of excellent story telling, the plot never by itself becomes the highlight of Tarantino movies. This time around too, his movie will be remembered for 2 things – A set of impressive characters and some convincing satire on human nature/morality. Full credit to Tarantino for introducing 4 more characters and in such stye. The actors have done equally well in  characterization.
 Christoph Waltz (Oscar nominated for this performance) steals the shows in the beginning with all his flamboyance. Watch out for the scene where he draws comparison between the business of bounty hunting and Slave trade. Calling one as ‘Cash for corspe‘ and the other as ‘Cash for flesh‘ trade.

Leonardo DiCaprio plays the hard core slaver madman. In one convincing scene, he tries to justify why the niggers are a submissive lot and need a master. (I couldn’t help remembering the squirrel-rat analogy with German-Jews from Inglourious Basterds).

The best performance in this movie comes from Samuel L. Jackson. His portrayal of ‘Stephen‘, the black caretaker of an estate will perhaps be the most memorable part of Django Unchained. He portrays the role of an old man confused with his hierarchy in the social order. 
Having spent 7 decades as the estate care taker, Stephen behaves like a master and looks down on other colored folks.

Over the course of the movie, Jamie Foxx‘s Django transforms from a lost soul to a legend and to put in his own words – ‘One in a thousand Nigger‘. Once he is armed, there is no stopping.

The intensity of gun shots and blood sputtering in this movie sets new standards. The gore is just one part of it. The choreography of the bloodbath is replete with close-ups and slow motion that one can be certain of director’s over indulgence.

In the end, Django is a glorified tale of brutality on slaves and one man’s revenge with the gun.  
Will be loved by Tarantino’s fans.
Rest will wonder, yet again – “What was so special”?

My rating: 7.5/10

Personal rant: 
Call it Kill Bill, Inglourious Basterds or Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino’s movies don’t seem to be too different from one another. They all conform to the same plot/thinking.
An underdog protagonist. Meets a mentor. Trains on combat skills. Seek vengeance. Connect these with blood & gun shots. Your movie is served cold. And in blood.
Not that Quentin Tarantino has an unassailable lead in depicting bloodshed. Tim Burton, Sylvester-Rambo-Stallone and his expendable men are catching up fast. It’s about time something fresh comes from the superstar director. 

4 Replies to “Django Unchained (2012) – Movie Review”

  1. Very well written indeed… and I agree with you for the most part!!! Btw, do check out Death Proof, Natural Born Killers, True Romance and Jackie Brown, if you haven't already… these movies say a lot about Tarantino's range even if it seems otherwise.

    Now even through you have gone through my review already, I am still leaving the link behind just in case you or your readers might want to have a look at it:

    PS. Do checkout Roger Ebert's review of Django Unchained on his blog

  2. Actually, I used to be a great admirer (still am but the intensity has somewhat faded away) of Mr. Ebert but his recent reviews have been quite disappointing… most of them seem driven by some external impetus (other than his taste for cinema… if you got my drift). But his review of Django Unchained seems to have come straight out of his heart. He talks about a very interesting cinematic term called "deus ex machina" which I thought might interest you as a fellow critic and cineaste.

  3. Thanks Buddy. I read Ebert's review too.
    One observation. Both of you not only review the movie but its genre and the history of the movie.

    Somehow, I restrict myself to treat-movie-as-a-standalone-effot 🙂
    Maybe, someday, I'll graduate.

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