Rashid Irani's review: Django Unchained

  • Rashid Irani
  • |
  • Updated: Mar 23, 2013 11:42 IST
  • Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

    Quentin Tarantino's Oscars awarded and highly anticipated film Django Unchained is all set to release in India. Here's a look

  • Jamie Foxx

    Jamie Foxx plays Django, a plantation slave in the action-packed film Django Unchained.

  • Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx

    Christoph Waltz (left) who won the Oscar award for Best Supporting actor plays Dr King Schultz, a bounty hunter who teams with Django (Jamie Foxx) ...

  • Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz

    Django (Jamie Foxx) with Dr King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) on a quest to save Django wife.

  • Leonardo DiCaprio

    Leonardo DiCaprio plays the ruthless plantation owner Calvin Candie who captures Django's wife in the film.

  • Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx

    Christoph Waltz (Dr. King Schultz) and Jamie Foxx (Django) in a still from Django Unchained.

  • Jamie Foxx, Franco Nero

    Django (Jamie Foxx) with Amerigo Vessepi played by Franco Nero (who played Django in the original 1966 film and its 1987 sequel) in a still ...

  • Leonardo DiCaprio

    Leonardo DiCaprio as the heartless Calvin Candie in a still from Django Unchained.

  • Quentin Tarantino

    Django Unchained director Quentin Tarantino who won Oscar for Best Original Screenplay has also played a role in the film as an employee at The ...

Django Unchained
Direction: Quentin Tarantino
Actors: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo di Caprio
Rating: *****

In Hollywood the king of cool still rules. Quentin Tarantino, whose last film was the World War II revenge fantasy lnglourious Basterds (2009), now ventures into the pre-Civil War America to address issues of race and slavery. The outcome is an audacious cinematic homage to the second-string spaghetti westerns of the 1960s. It also works as a meditation on vengeance, violence and the virulent racism prevalent in the Deep South at the end of the 19th century. In other words, Django Unchained is brutal, blood-soaked and brilliant.

In one of the breeziest two-and-three-quarter hours you're likely to spend at a multiplex, this 'Southern' (the director's own description) begins with a bravura sequence. Somewhere in Texas, circa 1858, the eponymous slave (Foxx) is freed from his shackles by a German dentist-turned-bounty hunter (Waltz).

In return, the liberated black man must help his abolitionist saviour identify and bring to justice a trio of redneck outlaws. After Django (the D is silent, he cheekily asserts) is unchained, it's on to the sprawling Mississippi cotton plantation where his still-enslaved wife (Kerry Washington) is forced into sexual bondage by the ruthless owner (Leonardo DiCaprio).

Alternately humourous and horrific, the narrative winds down in a finale which ensures an explosive payoff not only for the titular hero but the viewer as well. Tarantino infuses the proceedings with an array of filmic references, a heap of gun-toting action and a very strong emotional undercurrent.

The enfant terrible of contemporary cinema has written wickedly funny dialogue for his colourful characters. With characteristic abandon, the word n*gger is sprinkled liberally throughout the film.

No matter how grave the situation, it's counterbalanced by bits of absurdist humour. Who but Quentin Tarantino, for instance, would stage a Klu Klux Klan-style vigilante raid during which the gunslingers argue about their hooded apparel?

Put simply, Django Unchained is the zingiest entertainment of the year.


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