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Django Unchained: A Tarantino Masterclass

Django Unchained, directed by Quentin Tarantino, stars Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio and more.


Quentin Tarantino, one of the greatest directors of our generation, is best known for masterpieces like Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill, and more. However, one of his more recent films, Django Unchained, released in 2012, is one of his greatest works ever. From the dark but inspiring storyline to the graphic but necessary violence to the spectacular acting performances.

Unique Story

The story follows Django (played by Jamie Foxx), an enslaved man freed by a bounty hunter, Dr. King Schultz (played by Christoph Waltz), who needs his help identifying some criminals. They become a good team and then decide to look for Django's wife, Broomhilda (played by Kerry Washington), who was separated from him. The rest of the film follows the duo as they discover where she works, infiltrate the plantation, manipulate the owner Calvin Candie (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), and attempt to buy Broomhilda's freedom. While the theme of slavery is used in several movies, Tarantino's films are always special. Aside from the unique plot, a significant characteristic of most of his movies is the genius dialogue, as seen in this one. Although the film took place 150 years ago, Tarantino incorporates his hilarious lines to appropriately fit the era the movie is set in. The soundtrack is solid but nothing spectacular, as this filmmaking style emphasizes less the excellent blockbuster quality and focuses more on the filmmaking process.

Spectacular Performances

Filled with a highly star-studded cast featuring Leonardo Dicaprio, Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackson, and more, the expectations for this film as a whole, but especially acting-wise, are astronomical, and it does not disappoint. Jamie Foxx's portrayal of Django drives most of the film forward, alongside Christoph Waltz's Dr. Schultz. Still, it's DiCaprio and Jackson's portrayal of a plantation owner and his assistant, respectively, that steal the show. The duo's villainous chemistry on the screen is undeniable and elevates the movie's latter half to a different level. During the shooting of one of the scenes, DiCaprio apparently shatters a glass and injures himself, and starts to bleed, yet continues to deliver the rest of the scene unfazed! It just goes to show how committed and competitive the top-level stars are; when you have multiple stars in the same film, it often results in juggernaut performances.

Closing Critiques

The film’s runtime is 2 hours and 45 minutes which seems long for a non-blockbuster-styled movie. Yet Tarantino manages to entertain viewers throughout, whether it’s the intense storyline or his classic bloody fight scenes. Some would say that the violence is a bit much. There’s an argument to be made; however, considering it’s a slavery-themed movie, Tarantino wanted to make it as accurate and realistic as possible, so showing the horrors of what happened back in the day is reasonably necessary for the viewer to grasp the film as a whole. All in all, Django Unchained is a phenomenal film that showcases Tarantino’s genius.

Raving Rating: 8.2

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