Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio
Quentin Tarantino's new feature film once again has achieved something only a Tarantino film really can: create a truly poignant B-movie. It is something of a travesty how much of a command Tarantino now has over the aesthetic of old exploitation films. An aesthetic almost entirely dedicated to wanton, thoughtless entertainment that in Tarantino's hands, moulds itself to be able to accommodate truly multidimensional stories (without losing a touch of juiciness)
Django Unchained follows German émigré, masquerading dentist, and seasoned bounty hunter- Dr. King Shultz (Christoph Waltz) and his accomplice and liberated slave, Django (Jamie Foxx) as they venture around America before the abolition; hunting down notorious bounties and eventually seeking out to set free Django's lost wife.
The film is chock full off everything that makes a signature Tarantino film: over-the-top action sequences, a host of exciting and marvelously humorous banter, and a pervading spirit of coolness that holds everything together. What makes the film however is the fact that amidst all of his quirks and devices of entertainment, Tarantino preserves something of a story that still manages to say something: It portrays the brutality of slavery, depicting with a cold poignance the kinds of attitudes that prevailed with respect to the an entire faction of peoples. At certain moments, it even subverts these attitudes to humour effect (as when the african-american butler is asked to see to the guest and 'freeman', Django) exposing the latent absurdity of it all.
The film is still in many ways a fantastical revenge story that focalizes itself around a community (african americans under oppression) that has not been the subject of many stories, at least ones that glorify it in this fashion (much like Inglorious Basterds), it still upholds many of the conventions of a standard hollywood narrative. A clear protagonist and villain, a clear quest, a clear set of obstacles. It is this very paradoxical and very wonderful mastery over structure that makes Tarantino such a treat to watch.
If it is not clear already, I insist that you watch the film. If not for its rather interesting layers, than at least for two hours of film that will rouse you, tickle you, and make you want to go out and find the stellar Christoph Waltz, just so you may befriend him.