Django Unchained was definitely the best film I’ve seen this year. Whilst that isn’t much of an achievement right now, I reckon I’ll be saying that in at least six months time.
The performances in Django Unchained is just one of the many reason that I enjoyed this film. The performances from Christopher Waltz, Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio were just incredible. A notable performance also came from Kerry Washington. I’m not sure if it was because her character had such emotional scenes, but her performance was easily my favourite. I was captivated constantly during almost all of her screen time.
The way Django was structured was very noticeable to me and played a major role in my enjoyment of this movie. Tarantino split Django into thirds. The first third was humorous, in particular the Klu Klux Klan scene was brilliant; the second third was serious and the tension rose, this takes place in the presence of DiCaprio and culminates in the death of DiCaprio’s character, and the final third was all about retribution, focusing mainly on Django and wrapping up loose ends.
There has been some criticism on how slavery is represented in Django. Obviously a film about slavery is going to attract a large amount of discussion and some people will automatically dislike it, for whatever reason. Film director Spike Lee also had some controversial comments to make about Django film. Directed at Tarantino, Lee is quoted at saying “What does he want to be made, an honorary black man?”. This is in relation to Quentin’s over-use of the word nigger (apparently used over 100 times during the film). Now, although I agree that it was over-used I also believe it was completely contextual. That is how people spoke back then and generally how black people were referenced.
There were very few criticisms I had of Django. At one stage the film slowed down too much for it to be enjoyable and it almost broke the tension completely. We also didn’t get much backstory from the German doctor, why or how he became a bounty hunter, I felt as though the film kind of skirmishes around the Doctor’s past and motives. The luck and skill of Django towards the end is also doubtable, although I’m willing to let it slide as it was fun to watch.
In conclusion, Django is a must-watch film for any Tarantino fans and fans of good cinema in general. I give this film a 9 out of 10 for it’s superb plot, performances and lack of depth in certain areas.