YOU should know by now whether you carry the Quentin Tarantino movie gene. So if you’re honest, you’re either excited or irked by news of a new Tarantino movie. The excited should be making tracks towards
Django Unchained immediately, as it is yet another brilliant effort from QT.
The irked? I hope you enjoy The Guilt Trip. At least you’ll have no problems getting a seat.
Regularly referencing Tarantino’s long- held love of spaghetti westerns, Django Unchained is not only a homage to the genre, but also a hatchet job upon its cliched conventions.
A charismatic Jamie Foxx stars as Django, a slave whose freedom has been purchased by a dandy German bounty hunter named Dr King Schultz ( a wonderful Christoph Waltz, once again making Tarantino’s dialogue play like spoken music).
By way of obligation, Django agrees to spend some time in the employ of Schultz, who works undercover as a travelling dentist. There is just one condition: should the opportunity ever present itself, Schultz must help Django secure the freedom of his long- lost wife.
The mid- section of Django Unchained is an old- fashioned road movie Tarantino compared to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
While it is hard to spot any distinct similarities, the close bond that is forged between Django and Schultz, which openly flouts the racial conventions of the 1850s, and evens any number of old scores while they’re at it, holds the key.
The film might seem rather aimless at this point, but every departure from the main storyline is actually bringing Django closer to his long- lost love, Broomhilda ( Kerry Washington).
She’s holed up at a South Carolina plantation called Candieland, ruled with a mincing malevolence by the film’s ultimate embodiment of absolute evil, Calvin Candie ( Leonardo DiCaprio).
You will hate this guy with all your might. Candie’s equally despicable house servant
Stephen ( Samuel L. Jackson) is also certain to draw your ire.
Django Unchained is a head- on collision between the reprehensible and the redeemable. A fitting clash, given the core subject is slavery in America. Remarkably, for all of its bloody excess and bloody- minded indulgence, this is the most humanised and passionate of Tarantino’s works to date. This is as Tarantino- enthused and energetic as ever, but newly engaged and enlightened as well.
CLASS ACT: Chrisoph Waltz, left, and Jamie Foxx in Django Unchained.