Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino, 2012)

"D-j-a-n-g-o, the D is silent"

The D may be silent, but the sound of flesh wound's splattering blood signals the return of the flamboyant Quentin Tarantino (QT). After a 3 years hiatus followed by WWII Nazi occupied revenge tale, my favourite auteur is back with another revenge theme western genre, I repeat, Quentin did western, can it get any cooler than it sounds? The answer is a resounding yes.

I bet he still having the fond memory from watching countless of western movies such as Django (Corbucci, 1966) and Sergio Leone's Dollar trilogy et al which help create the whole Spaghetti Western fad. Though I must say it is not that he had not paid homage to the Spaghetti Western genre before: He already did it in Kill Bill Volume 1 and 2 a few years ago.

If you are looking for historical fact about the slavery in US Civil War, go ahead and switch to TV History Channel; if you are yearning for Quentin's throwback western feature, waste no time and join the pandemonium! Do not worry about the long running time of 2 hours 45 minutes, because you will hardly notice it, though the non linear narrative style is nowhere to be seen this time. Django Unchained tackles the subjects of slavery and racism, blends with
QT's richly quotable dialogues and ultra violence style throughout the course of the movie. Try not be too disturbed by how Quentin poke fun at racism, the stupidity of mankind and what not. To be honest, I guiltily find it mighty hilarious with the portrayal of racial bigotry. This is an incredible movie all around, matching the standard of the man himself, a vastly entertaining novelty, which is what a fine moviemaking is all about.

Like Kill Bill and Inglorious Basterds, The revenge theme is what Django Unchained made of. The movie sets 2 years before the American Civil War, a German dentist turned bounty hunter Dr Schulz (played by Christoph Waltz) and a freed slave Django (Jamie Foxx) team up to headhunt US government's wanted men and on the quest to find Django's missing wife (Kerry Washington). The casting is top notch as usual for QT standard, Christoph Waltz gave a very assured performance while the intensity of Jamie Foxx added dimension to the Django character. Then there is Leonardo Di Caprio as the francophile plantation owner Calvin Candie, a pure impersonation of evil. Samuel L. Jackson is Stephen the head servant, who is Calvin Candie's eyes and ears in running the plantation. His intimidating stare is enough to scare anyone pissing in their pants.

There are so many moment to be savoured such as The pre-KKK bag head scene had me laughed so hard I nearly choke myself. The "three dimples in a black man's skull theory" monologue coldly delivered by LeonardoDiCaprio about genetic inferiority. Interestingly, that scene draws parallel with the "Italians are spawned by N*gg*r " speech from True Romance (Tony Scott, 1993), scripted by none other than QT himself. The dialogues in the movies are written in a very typical Tarantino-esque style, you know, the usual long winded verbosity. The following are some typical example of the Quentin's scripted dialogues:

Dr Schulz: My good man, did you simply get carried away with your dramatic gesture, or are you pointing your weapon at me with lethal intention?
 * * * * *
Calvin Candie: [about Django] He is a rambunctious sort, ain't he?

The trademark talkfest he wrote, rambling or not is debatable, even at time It may not seems colloquial. But make no mistake, the script is nothing short of the usual QT awesomeness. If Spike Lee is furious with the overusage of the N-word from QT's previous movies, he better be wearing soundproof earmuff all over Django Unchained. After all he refused to watch, or so they said.

A Spaghetti Western feature will not be complete without the music composed by the legendary Ennio Morricone. Aside from that, there are out-out-place rap tune but fit perfectly to the movie, and then there are super-cool-rarely-heard songs. In fact the soundtrack is so cool I have the soundtrack audio CD to relive its moments.

The last act of the movie, about 30 minute from the end is pure total carnage. The bloody shootout was brilliantly executed, it may not for the faint hearted due to blood soaking violence. The torso takes bullet hits, exploding blood squibs during gun fights everywhere. I always expect to see somewhere's someone's head being blown off, instead I saw someone's penis being blown apart by shotgun.

I have been tinkering on the star rating for Django Unchained. I want you to be assured that my admiration for Quentin is nothing to do with the full 5 stars out of 5. Maybe a tinge of bias, hahaha. OK, all joking aside, I would like to think this is among Quentin Tarantino's most accessible movie. In other words, it is a great introduction to non fan will most likely find this to be entertained and absolute must see for any QT's aficionado.    

1 star = Pathetic, SowYau feel ashamed of watching it
2 stars = Off the mark material, approach with caution
3 stars = Generally good, you should watch it if it's your favourite genre
4 stars = Excellent, strongly recommended
5 stars = A classic status? Only time will tell. But it is definitely in SowYau's Hall of Fame List

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