Certificate 18, 2 hours 45, ★★★★★★★★★☆
Quentin Tarantino likes his red sauce, and Django Unchained has plenty of it. The film starts when bounty hunter and former dentist, Dr King Schultz (Christoph Waltz – Inglorious Basterds, The Green Hornet, Water for Elephants) buys the slave Django (Jamie Foxx – Collateral, Miami Vice, Horrible Bosses) to help him track down the Brittle Brothers in exchange for his freedom. Along the way, Schultz is persuaded to help Django find and free his wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington – Boston Legal), who had been sold to ruthless plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio – Inception, Titanic, J Edgar).
It’s been a while since we had a decent Western, and Django Unchained kickstarts the genre with a brilliantly fresh, witty – and violent – way. Schultz is a silver-tongued, suave cynic, who believes that bounty hunting – bringing in criminals dead or alive – is a flesh for cash business just like slavery. When Schultz discovers that Django’s wife speaks German, he decides to help reunite them.
The performances from the cast are astounding. Foxx, Waltz and DiCaprio as the three leads surely delivered oscar-worthy performances, and Samuel L. Jackson as Stephen the house-slave delivers a masterful performance that is both funny and someone that you’ll come to really detest. There are many other big name actors taking on minor roles, such is the pull of a Tarantino movie. The music was brilliant, and the violence was extreme but artistic in a way that reminds you of Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill and most definitely reminds you that this is a Tarantino movie.
Is this the best film Tarantino has ever made? No, that crown is still held by pulp Fiction. But this is close. Damn close. Awesome.