I had been putting off seeing Django Unchained for awhile, since the violence in Quentin Tarantino movies is always hard for me to stomach. I finally saw it this past weekend, and while the action was definitely bloody, I wish I had seen it earlier because it was a lot of fun to watch.
The movie centers on Django (Jamie Foxx), a slave-turned-bounty hunter on a mission to find his wife, also a slave, who was separated from him. Django is taken under the wing of German bounty hunter Dr. Schultz (Christoph Waltz), and the dynamic duo, with Django embracing full-on cowboy mode, sets out to restore justice to 19th-century America. The movie also stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Calvin Candie, a despicable plantation owner who is now the owner of Django’s wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington.)
In true Tarantino form, while there is a ton of violence in the movie, it’s also sprinkled with humor throughout. Waltz’s character Dr. Schultz is one of my favorites I’ve seen — it’s so fun to see someone with such a heart of gold still be willing to do the job of a hired killer. While Django’s dialogue was limited compared to other characters, Foxx played his role superbly, giving his character a quiet strength that didn’t need words to be felt. And while Calvin is a character you’ll surely hate, it’s always wonderful to watch DiCaprio’s interpretation of who he’s playing — and in this case, he created a villain that is also highly intriguing and entertaining.
I have to warn you, though — there is one scene in the movie that is one of the most disturbing I’ve ever seen, a depiction of mandingo, a fight-to-the-death between slaves. It made me want to leave the theater and vomit — so if you’d like a heads-up of when to expect this scene, let me know. And while some critics have condemned the violence and racism depicted in the movie, the horrors of slavery were real, and it’s good to be reminded that for as far as we’ve come, there are many worldly injustices still happening.
Besides the engaging story (there’s a hysterical scene involving Johah Hill, as well, and Samuel L. Jackson is also memorable from the film), I absolutely loved the soundtrack. Tarantino always seems to pick the best music for his movies, and music lovers will definitely appreciate the careful selection of the melodies. Even the opening and closing credits are highly stylized and will have you captivated — there’s no denying Tarantino’s genius, and Django Unchained is one of my favorite movies of his.