If you’re familiar with Quentin Tarantino’s work, then I’d be surprised if you haven’t already seen Django Unchained. If you are not familiar with him or his other films, I would advise you to get familiar with all of them immediately. His best works are: Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill: Volume I, Inglorious Basterds, and Reservoir Dogs. There. Disregard all homework and watch these films.
Django Unchained has received all manner of responses from critics and everyday viewers alike. As usual, Tarantino takes preconceived rules of what is appropriate and lines drawn by society and systematically pisses on them. Take Inglorious Basterds, for example. The World War II film depicts American soldiers [spoiler alert] repeatedly shooting Adolf Hitler in the face until there’s nothing left.
His most recent film, Django Unchained, starring Jamie Foxx (Law Abiding Citizen) and Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds), is set in 1858. It tells of Django—a slave taken from his wife—that is bought by a German dentist working as a bounty hunter, and taught the tricks of the trade, as far as killing white men goes.
The film is not easy to behold. In several interviews, Tarantino explained that he didn’t want people to be comfortable when watching Django Unchained. The film uses the n-word a record amount of well over a hundred times, and when asked why he insisted on the profuseness of its use he claimed that he didn’t want to water it down, but rather, “It to be a big, gigantic boulder, a jagged pill and you have no water.”
And so, Dr. Schultz and Django traverse the lands, killing white men for their bounty. Their arrangement is such that Django will help Dr. Schultz in exchange for his help finding Django’s wife. Cue the entrance of Leonardo DiCaprio (Inception, Titanic), a wealthy plantation owner terrible enough to induce knotted stomachs and punching urges. Dr. Schultz and Django approach DiCaprio’s character, Calvin Candie, with the intent to purchase Django’s wife who is enslaved on the Candie plantation. But their plan is to masquerade as potential buyers of Mandingos (slave fighters), and play Candie like a fiddle.
The amount of violence in Django Unchained is in no way minor. As is customary in his films, Tarantino does not hesitate to explode characters’ heads or paint the walls with bad guys’ gore. If you were avoiding this film for that reason, I’d advise giving it a view anyhow. The film is host to many more redeeming qualities than that, what with Academy award winning actor Christoph Waltz lending, yet again, his superb acting to Tarantino’s screenplay.
If nothing else, go see Django Unchained because I have deemed it necessary. I award five stars out of five.