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Django Unchained - Film Review

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by John Andrew (subscribe)
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Bloody and good; also subversive and funny
Quentin Tarantino is quoted as saying that in Django Unchained, he wanted to create the archetypal black cowboy. In Jamie Fox he has succeeded in doing that and a lot more. The first half hour is side-splittingly funny as Tarantino turns stereotypes on their head, and plays with devastating one-liners.

Two years before the Civil War the slave Django (Jamie Foxx) is released from a chain gang by a suave bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) who needs him to identify the members of a gang he is hunting. After a very profitable partnership Waltz and Foxx join up to rescue Brunhilde, Foxx's improbably named wife, from a plantation owned by Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) and with a powerful house slave (Samuel L Jackson) who switches roles in an instant from Uncle Tom to torquemanda.
Villainy is not understated, and Tarantino gets to skewer with his subversive screen-play Southern hospitality, the Klu Klux Klan, and spaghetti westerns. The violence is graphic and so over-the-top as to be surreal. Yet we are only too aware that in only a couple of years the carnage will only be too real, as the Civil War explodes.

This is a good film possibly a great one - and its complex plot operates on many levels.
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