Django Unchained – Tarantino Unleashed

Matthew Greenberg

courtesy of IMDB


5 stars

“Kill white people and get paid for it? What’s not to like?” Obviously, Writer/Director Quentin Tarantino understands that there is everything to like about killing people and getting paid for it. He’s been doing it for more than 20 years, and he has certainly become somewhat of an expert on the matter.

With his newest film, Django Unchained, Tarantino has produced a piece of work that disgusts, offends, excites and intrigues its audience, while leaving them thoroughly entertained throughout the  two-hour-45 minute bloody extravaganza. Bill Goodykoontz of the Arizona Republic said it perfectly, “The name of the movie is “Django Unchained,” but for all practical purposes it might as well be called “Tarantino Unleashed.”

Tarantino’s blaxploitation/spaghetti western mash-up would not come close to its astounding success without its star-studded cast. Jamie Foxx is dark and magnificent as Django, a slave-turned-bounty hunter who, under the tutelage of his mentor Dr. King Schultz, played by Christoph Waltz, seeks to free his wife from Calvin Candie, a devious plantation owner and Mandingo slave trader. Leonardo DiCaprio’s portrayal of the vile slaver Candie was so encapsulating it is a crime that he did not receive and Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Of course, no Tarantino film would be complete without Samuel L. Jackson dropping a few n-words and motherf*****s. And by a few, it was actually every other sentence. Jackson’s character, Stephen, an aged slave-aid to Candie, was by far one of the most intriguing characters to figure out. His dynamic role as a slave who is also a villain leaves the viewer conflicted and searching for closure as to the character’s true nature, which Tarantino deliberately buries beneath the swell of racism depicted in his 1858 Southern United States.

The Golden Globes were friendly to Tarantino and his newest film, bringing in five nominations and three wins. Tarantino won the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay – Motion Picture and Christoph Waltz won the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture. Leonardo DiCaprio was also nominated in that category, as well as Tarantino for Best Director – Motion Picture, and Best Motion Picture – Drama.

Besides DiCaprio’s aforementioned Oscar snub, notable Oscar nomination for this film include: Best Picture, Quentin Tarantino for Best Original Screenplay, Christoph Waltz for Best Supporting Actor, as well as nominations for Cinematography and Sound Editing. If only there was a write-in category for Most Hilarious Scene, Jonah Hill’s KKK representation would have to be included.

See the movie, laugh at the bag scene, cringe at the blood and gore, cheer at every catch phrase and oversized explosion and nod expectantly when almost everyone dies. If it wasn’t expected, it wouldn’t be Tarantino.