Django Unchained (2012) Review: Tarantino’s Blood-Soaked Revenge EpicAugust 13, 2023
“I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist,” the thick-accented Christoph Waltz says after running a bullet through Leonardo DiCaprio’s heart, outrightly sealing his own death sentence. And this is not even the peak of this incendiary masterpiece from the undisputed king of narcotic cinema, Quentin Tarantino.
It’s unwholesome, deplorable, and delicious as a forbidden… well, anything.
Django Unchained is Spaghetti Western love story following a recently freed slave, Django Freeman (Jamie Foxx) who trains under his messiah, a German bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) with the ultimate goal of reuniting with his long lost wife (Kerry Washington)
It’s a Tarantino film so obviously the visuals are spectacular, the dialogues are long and delightful and the violence, well, as gruesomely exciting and as graphically deplorable as they can possibly be.
From Kill Bill trilogy, Pulp Fiction, and Inglorious Basterds, we already know Tarantino is one of the greatest directors to ever do it. But in Django Unchained, the Film maestro proves that his writing prowess is unmatched.
This time Tarantino maintains a linear narrative, only occasionally darting to Spaghetti flashbacks. Compared to his previous work, the plot is rather simple which further serves to heighten the stakes.
Our two protagonists, Django and Dr. Schultz meet earlier on in the opening scenes. Dr. Schultz, in a scintillating display of murder, frees our hero, and the director works hard to establish a kinship between these two otherwise different men.
Now if you thought Christoph Waltz was brilliant in Inglorious Basterds, here he dazzles. He more than deserved the Oscars he got. Jamie Foxx plays the lead with such brazen swagger you fall in love with him from the get-go. And Leonardo DiCaprio, damn! Why do they keep snubbing this dude for the Oscars? What a performance! What an actor!
The director himself makes a cameo, first as part of a rather comic entourage on a mission to teach “the nigger” a lesson. Of course, he is masked but Tarantino has the most recognizable voice even when he is “acting”. His second appearance is as a member of a slaver gang who meets a ghastly end.
And while the director received no nomination for his acting, he bagged an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in addition to several other accolades the film received.
Django Unchained is bold, bloody, and stylistically daring, and in my opinion, remains the best film Tarantino has ever written.