Set against the backdrop of the violent and deeply unjust slave world of pre-Civil War America, we meet Django who is "purchased" by Dr Schultz, a prosperous and chirpy bounty hunter who delights in taking out the ragamuffins of the day. Upon realising Django's obvious skills with a musket, Django and Dr Schultz strike up an unlikely friendship bound by Schultz's promise to help Django rescue his slave wife Broomhilda from the clutches of the very nasty, uber bloodthirsty Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). What follows is pure adventurous fun (with the somewhat frequent cover-your-eyes violent scenes).
Less heavy handed than usual, I think the bright moments of humour - which honestly had the audience laughing out loud - truly shone, and alleviated the spates of darkness we encounter as audience. Random cameos - Tarantino with a broad Aussie accent happily astride a horse alongside John Jarratt (Wolf Creek's scarily effective menace) - and the lead characters (Leonardo DiCaprio, hello CRUSH even when he's despicable, Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington and the real star of the film Cristoph Waltz) provide a few hours of rollicking fun that was never slow and often surprised.
|Christoph Waltz is a delight as Dr Schultz|
The film has outraged Americans with its liberal use of the "N" word, however I wonder if the outrage isn't seated more in an uncomfortable reflection of a not-so-distant past reality that white folk would prefer to forget ever happened.
As per my usual behaviour following a Tarantino film viewing, I got the soundtrack immediately. Should I ever take up running again (Tracey Anderson said it makes your bum big... Could that be true?) there are some banging good running tracks that are mucho enjoyable, and send me straight back to the cinema, happily enjoying a classic spaghetti western with a firm handle on irony.
I also recommend you pay attention to the very silly names in this film: Broomhilda Von Shaft, Billy Crash, Lara Lee Candie Fitzwilly and Mr Stonecipher.
Django Unchained gets a solid 4 stars out of 5 from me...