24 Mar 2013

Movie Review: Django Unchained: Entertaining western, too many gunshots...


Caution: Brackets abound this review.

An incidental encounter leads a slave, Django (Where have you been, Jamie Foxx?) to win his freedom – courtesy the traveling Dr. King Schultz, a bounty hunter* (Christopher Waltz, excellent). The two strike a partnership and a quiet, understanding friendship, as Django longs to meet his enslaved wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), working as she is at Calvin Candie’s (Leonardo DiCaprio, rusty, out of place) Mississippi plantation (Candyland (!)). Django and Dr. King pose as slave traders to buy her freedom. Django, the sole black person on horseback looks down upon whites and blacks alike and with tensions simmering a violent catharsis is just a gun shot away.

Make no mistake; all the Tarantino signatures are omnipresent and flowing in this blood-splashing, gun booming western set in 1858 - two years before the civil war, as we are informed. Blood as a character stars all through. The visuals pay tribute to western classics in grand style and then there is the soundtrack, squishy violence and extended monologues (Waltz gets the best, and he sparkles).

Thing is Tarantino movies have never been about the depth, seriousness and story but the storytelling, and he does tell this one in grand style, mixing popular cinema elements to give us an enjoyable, rollicking movie. The allegories, analogies and metaphors are all lined up for the taking, but the effect is mitigated once Django blasts through all in grand style and still is inexplicably, invincibly unhurt, if not dead. 

Also watch out for...
Samuel L Jackson's wonderful turn as the grumbling, mumbling servant to Dicaprio.   


*A bounty hunter was one who killed those WANTED by the government for murder and robberies (DEAD OR ALIVE) and deposited the corpses with the concerned authorities in return for money.  


(The film released, for reasons unknown, in Pune on March 22, 2013, three months post its US release.)

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