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Django Unchained - Film Review

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by Ranyhyn Akui (subscribe)
A UQ student whose favourite method of procrastination is getting out of the house and enjoying what Brisbane has to offer.
Published January 9th 2013
Quentin Tarantino's new blockbuster

After reinventing movie genres such as horror, crime and war, acclaimed director Quentin Tarantino has turned his attention to the spaghetti westerns of the 60's, bringing us a new cult classic in Django Unchained.

A loose remake of the 1966 film Django, Django Unchained follows the story of a German dentist-come-bounty hunter, Dr Schultz (Christoph Waltz), and the slave he sets free, Django (Jamie Foxx). At first, Dr Schultz only needs Django to identify three brothers with a bounty on their heads. For Django, however, this task provides him with the opportunity to seek revenge on the brutal plantation overseers who branded and whipped himself and his wife. Hearing his story and discovering his remarkable accuracy with a gun, Dr Schultz offers to help Django free his wife, Brumhilda, from slavery but only after Django assists Dr Schultz with his own 'flesh trade' of killing for money. After a profitable winter of bounty hunting, the rescue mission eventually brings them to Candieland, the plantation owned by the merciless Monsieur Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), and brutal, bloody violence and mayhem ensues.

There is no possibility of confusing Django Unchained with the work of another director. The film is classic Tarantino, from the soundtrack to the camera techniques, to the punchy dialogue and the dark, disturbing humour. The comedy is typical of a Tarantino movie, side-stitching wit that leaves you a little perturbed at seeing the funny side of nightmarish scenarios. The dark side of America's slaving history is graphically present throughout the movie while the famed 'southern hospitality' is unashamedly torn apart through its contrast with the barbaric treatment of slaves.

The characters are played by a stellar cast, including cameos from the likes of Jonah Hill, Franco Nero (who starred in the original Django) and Quentin Tarantino himself. Christoph Waltz appears in his second Tarantino film, this time playing one of the good guys having previously starred as the villain in Inglorious Bastards. Though in this, as in almost every Tarantino film, the lines between good and evil are heavily blurred. Jamie Foxx is undoubtedly the star as the brazen Django but the supporting actors performances are almost equally a standout. Leonardo DiCaprio is entirely too believable as the bloodthirsty southern gentleman, while Samuel L. Jackson is almost unrecognisable in his role as a head house slave with no sympathy for his fellow captives.

Already nominated for several Golden Globe awards, Django Unchained is sure to be a cult hit. Unless you're particularly squeamish, be sure to see it when it hits cinemas. I give it nine blood spatters out of ten.
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Why? Wild Western entertainment, Tarantino style.
Where: A cinema near you.
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