When Quentin Tarantino announced that his film following 2009’s “Inglorious Basterds” would be a Western, fans may have been confused, but not skeptical. When the film, “Django Unchained” was further announced to include elements of Blaxploitation films, it made much more sense.
“Django Unchained” is the second film in what Tarantino has called a loose “Revisionist History” trilogy. The film stars Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Kerry Washington and Leonardo DiCaprio. Set in the pre-Civil War South, bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Waltz) purchases, and then subsequently frees, slave Django (Foxx). After assisting Schultz in collecting bounties, Django and Schultz attempt to free Django’s wife, Broomhilda (Washington), who is under the ownership of notorious slaver Calvin Candie (DiCaprio).
The film is a spectacular mash-up of the Spaghetti Western and Blaxploitation genres. It also bears all the hallmarks of a Tarantino film. At the surface, it comes across as a violent and vulgar action film. However, when you watch with a slightly more analytical eye, you can see a much more complex story. We get to see an ex-slave take revenge on the slavers pre-Civil War.
The film doesn’t skimp on the humor either. Samuel L. Jackson’s character (in his fifth Tarantino film) plays the brilliant comic relief. However, like all Tarantino films, he serves a deeper purpose.
If you are a fan of Tarantino films, this will not disappoint you. The Academy agrees, as the film has been nominated for five Oscars, including Best Picture.