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Monday, December 10, 2012

DJANGO UNCHAINED

By D.E.Levine

Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, my first impulse is to say it's typical Tarantino.  However, actually, the writer/director has merged elements of traditional and spaghetti westerns to create a bloody feature which also has comedic elements and pushes the subject of slavery to the forefront.

Christoph Waltz as Dr. King Schultz, a German bounty hunter posing as an dentist,  steals the movie, but there are strong performances by Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington and Samuel Jackson.  There are also some excellent  guest appearances by older actors like Don Johnson, Franco Nero (the original Django from Sergio Corbucci's European spaghetti western of 1966), Bruce Dern, Russ Tamblyn and other actors from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s..

This is a revenge saga.set in the deep south just before the Civil War.  Tarantino's writing and direction manages to make  fools of the Klu Klux Klan and some other organizations while justifying the pure vengeance of Django, who happens to be black and a former slave.

Freed by Dr. Schultz, who takes on the owners of a chain gain of slaves, Django reveals that his black, German speaking wife Broomhilda,  was sold to another master.  Resolving to find and rescue Broomhilda, Django signs on as a bounty hunter with Schultz and after a successful winter of capturing men with bounties on their heads, they track Broomhilda to Candyland, the vast plantation owned by Calvin Cande, a smooth talking evil racist individual.

The soundtrack is eclectic and memorable, as it usually is with the soundtracks of Tarantino films.