Django Unchained (2012)

They say telling a story is exactly the same as telling a joke. Quentin Tarantino is of course outstanding in both. In fact, he may be the best storyteller working in Hollywood today. He has a feeling for what information to withhold from the audience and when to reveal them as a punch line. He also proves this talent in Django Unchained. As one of only a few, he is willing to slowly build up a scene and let it unfold instead of hurrying through the movie at top speed, as is common nowadays. I’m thinking for example of a scene at the beginning of the film, where Dr. Schultz (Christoph Waltz) brings the newly freed slave Django (Jamie Fox) to a small town and keeps the whole population on its toes. After Tarantino has already dealt with the Nazi era and rewritten history in his own way, in Django he dedicates himself to the inglorious history of slavery in the United States. He wraps the subject in a Tarantino-style spaghetti western. With that he brings the most classic American genre, which had been adopted and revolutionized by the Europeans along the way, back to its homeland. He also breathes life back into an almost dead genre, just like Clint Eastwood did with Unforgiven (1992) in the 90s. Django is a man on a mission. He wants to find his wife and rescue her. This mission aspect, the rewriting of human history, the humor associated with violence and Christoph Waltz are the reasons why Django Unchained comes across as a bit like Inglourious Basterds during the American Civil War. Accompanied by Dr. Schultz, Django meets Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), a plantation owner who enjoys organizing slave fights. An excellent DiCaprio plays the most evil asshole of his career. Samuel L. Jackson is fantastic as the old house slave DiCaprios, the worst black man of his time. Christoph Waltz and his whole demeanor are hilarious. As a whole, Tarantino’s film is highly stylized, funny and reaches a new level of celebrated violence. The director has found an entertaining and haunting way to address and treat an American taboo.

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson
Genre: Drama, Western
Rated: R
Runtime: 165 min.
Release Date: 2012/12/25
Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino
Editor: Fred Raskin
Cinematography: Robert Richardson
Budget: $100 million