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One of the films of the year in my opinion is the latest effort from Quentin Tarantino – Django Unchained. Now lets understand something, I am not the biggest fan of his past work. In fact I think it is safe to say that I just don’t like his movies, I find them overrated and they’re just not for me. However, I saw the trailer for Django and knew that I wanted to see the film and so here is my review of said film that has been nominated for 5 Oscars this year including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor and Best Original Screenplay.
Synopsis: A freed slave who by some quirk of fortune becomes a bounty hunter sets out to rescue his wife from a Mississippi plantation owner. Get ready for some all out Western action.
Main Cast: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson
The Hype: Much has been said about this film, some good, some bad. Either way, its great publicity for the film and this film appeals to a huge range of film lovers. It has been hugely successful at the box office, already making back its money and it has yet to open in the UK. Nominated for 5 Academy Awards this year, Tarantino has really hit the mark this time.
What I Thought: I thought this film was terrific! It’s certainly not a perfect film, but it is massively entertaining with a great story and brilliant action scenes. Not being a fan of Tarantino’s work before this, I did wonder if it would just turn out to be a “best bits are in the trailer” movie. Quite the opposite in fact. The cast is quality and all play their parts very well. I thought Christoph Waltz and Samuel L Jackson were particular highlights and Waltz has earned his Best Supporting Actor award here. I do hope he wins it as he is ever-present throughout the film unlike the favourite for the prize Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln) whose screentime is much more limited. Jackson is his usual self, but the relationship between his and DiCaprio’s character is funny, unusual and entertaining. There is also a very funny exchange between the members of a lynch mob.
The special effects have also been put to good use and true to Tarantino form there is a good amount of blood used which has caused some controversy regarding the “excessive amount of violence” used. I’m not sure I agree with that statement. I have seen films with far more and far more gruesome scenes in them and I think this negative publicity is most of the media jumping on the bandwagon and linking it to terrible situations like the Sandy Hook school shooting. Anything to raise the viewing figures of the news networks I guess. I would say the violence fits the story and isn’t excessive in the slightest. It certainly doesn’t make me want to acquire an assault rifle and blow some people away.
Conclusions: It is safe to say that the nominations that Django Unchained has received have been thoroughly deserved and I think that if it wins nothing else, it Tarantino should win the original screenplay award for a great movie that will in time become a cult classic as much as the likes of From Dusk Till Dawn and Inglorious Basterds have become. The use of music is also good with some songs in there you would not expect in a Western, but that’s just Tarantino’s style isn’t it?