Un­chained mas­tery

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - MOVIES -

RE­VIEWS

Leigh Paatsch

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.

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