“Django Unchained” has all the workings for a classic Quentin Tarantino movie and it does deliver. With an edgy and controversial screenplay by Tarantino, larger than life characters backed up by spot-on acting and numerous action scenes that do not censor even the bloodiest gunfight.
Tarantino’s screenplay attracted controversy over the widespread use of the “n-word,” which is extremely prevalent throughout the movie and caused other directors, such as Spike Lee, to heavily criticize the screenplay and movie.
The cast lives up to the extraordinary characters, with Jamie Foxx embodying a down and out slave transformed into a fierce gunslinger, or Leonardo DiCaprio as an evil, narcissistic plantation owner. However, the best performance of the movie was given by Christoph Waltz, who portrayed the mystical Dr. King Schultz — a dentist turned successful bounty hunter whose quick lines and abundant knowledge get him out of multiple tricky situations.
This movie is what Tarantino is excellent at and is also known for — turning cliché movie genres into something edgy and entertaining. In “Django Unchained”, Tarantino sought to create a spaghetti western, in “Inglorious Bastards”, he sought to make a classic WWII movie and in both “Kill Bill: Vol. 1” and “Kill Bill: Vol. 2”, he created a ninja movie. Unfortunately, this movie will also signal the departure of Tarantino from the movie business for some time, as he has said on multiple occasions in pre-award-season interviews. He has stated he is looking toward writing and directing a mini-series in the future.
As to the question of whether “Django Unchained” deserves the Oscar for movie the year, I strike a resounding, “no”. Although the film has great performances, cinematography and screenplay it only gives the audience entertainment value and does little to emotionally move or intellectually stimulate viewers.
One does not watch “Django Unchained” and give a thought about the characters, plot or meaning behind the picture once the film is over. Best pictures consistently connect with audiences on a deep level, sparking thought about themselves, the characters struggle, the plot, the over all meaning and the beauty of the piece of work.
“Django Unchained” is an awesome spaghetti western, not a best picture.
I was hoping Tarantino would not make an appearance in this film. But he does, and still sucks at acting.