Django Unchained – 5/5 Movie Reviews by Ry!

Django Unchained – 5/5 – In many occasions, when I grade films, it can be good and great, but won’t have the feeling of perfection.  This feeling I usually get is because there is a slight misstep within either the acting, direction or the absent of key elements of cinematography of score.  What it boils down is, that it is hard to give out a perfect score, even if it’s great.  When I do give a perfect score, I usually think long and hard whether if the film deserves it.  What a perfect film has to do is make me realize that, watching the movie, it’s an unforgettable thing.  When you get that unforgettable feeling, you know that the film is worth a five out of five.  Here, we have a film which is arguably, Quentin Tarantino’s best film to date.

The premise of the film is this:

A former dentist turned bounty hunter, Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), buys the freedom of a slave, Django (Jamie Foxx).  With the freed slave Django, Schultz trains him to become his deputy bounty hunter and to capture the Brittle Brothers.  In return, Django asked for his service in finding his long lost wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington).  In searching for his wife, they are led to a ruthless plantation owner, Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his trusted house slave Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson).

When it comes to the main four actors (Foxx, Waltz, DiCaprio and Jackson), they all provide outstanding but distinctively awesome characters.  Foxx as Django is superb.  You watch great characterization within Django.  You watch a man, who is a lowly slave, become freed and evolve into an audacious and strong bounty hunter.  He brings across a believable person with harden convictions.  You see this through Foxx’s great acting skills as well as facial expression, as you witness his strong intent in his eyes to find and save his wife.  Mr. Waltz, as his bounty hunter partner, is superb as well.  His character has many dimensions of smarts, wits, charm and humor.  His interactions with Django and monologues will make you laugh as well as think about his values and the intent of his motives.  You watch his character evolve along with Django’s, as you see that both their lives get intertwined with fate.  You see a ‘pass of the guard’ with them two, but also great appeal and strong connection between the two.  DiCaprio steps out of his ‘good guy/golden boy’ mantra as he represents in this film a truly vicious, charming plantation owner.  He brings across a true polar opposite and great antagonist for Waltz and Foxx’s characters.  He has all the eccentric and humorous lines like the other two, but his character is a darker soul with deeper convictions to his southern heritage during this era of slavery.  He brings a character you truly hate, and you see the conniving villainous motives in his eyes.  Making you hate him, you see DiCaprio delivers a great acting job as Calvin Candie.  The one that steals the show is Mr. Jackson as Stephen.  Being the house slave, you see his devotion to the master, but at the same time you get an exceptionally deep character with Sam Jackson’s portrayal.  He gives great delivery and provides amazing charisma in Stephen’s dark and clever appeal.  He will make you laugh hard at points, but also make you feel vilified when things turn for the worst for the bounty hunters.  Pretty much, he steals every scene he is in.  For the supporting cast, which also includes Django’s wife, the Brittle Brothers and other people you meet throughout the movie, they do an admirable job in their roles.  The delivery of their small parts is on point, and they came across as important figures in moving the story.  The supporting cast is more than just plot devices, which is a great compliment to Tarantino’s directing and script.  The character development is so well focused in the simplicity, that everyone just shines.

When it comes to the direction, it is simple, but remarkably deep and unique.  Quentin Tarantino’s style is very specific and has an acquired taste, because he uses a lot of violence and vulgarity in his script.  The difference in his style in comparison to just a generic, vulgar filled violent film is that Tarantino has great transition between those elements and the rest of the movie.  He has a way to smooth in the vulgar/violence and the dark humor; he just blurs the lines without notice and blends these scenes perfectly.  The story of the bounty hunters looking for the Brittle Brothers to rescuing Broomhilda overlaps so well, that it makes the two stories become one.  Another great aspect of the direction is how the added flavor of Tarantino’s directing style molds into the western genre.  You see, feel and sense this movie is a western, but it also has the added depth of a smart script and shocking violence at times.  The mix makes the movie have a realistic appeal, but also helps develop a story within a simple tale of love and revenge.  The layer of the director’s creativity and set pieces help add flavor, depth, admiration and entertaining value.

Another great added dimension to this film is the implementation of cinematography and score.  The visuals are so sweeping and acute, that it helps you feel the vastness of what a western is, to the hard nose hardcore action feel of a Tarantino film.  From the western towns the bounty hunters visit to the plantations, you feel that you are a part of this journey, and feel the anguish in what happens from beginning to end.  The score, just like the visuals, is strong and well executed.  You have everything from traditional western music to a mix of current country and hip-hop.  This mix could have been hindered and confusing, but the execution is well precise, it adds another colorful layer to this film.  You see the uniqueness of the aurora developed, but still feel grounded into what the film and the period piece that it is.

This movie is the definition of a masterpiece.  From the great acting from the main four (Foxx, Waltz, DiCaprio and Jackson) to the direction, visuals and score, you have a film that delivers.  You have depth to Django and his quest, as well as shocking and humorous overtones from the direction of Tarantino.  As I mentioned above, I believe this to be his best film to date.  If you’re a fan of Tarantino, westerns, or just want to see how a great film defined, this is the one for you.

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