Movie: Django Unchained (2012)

Typical Tarantino flick through and through. 1850s. America. A charismatic dentist-turned-bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) teams up with a black slave (Jamie Foxx) to take out outlaws and bandits wanted by the federal government. Personal dislike for slavery and his humanity compels him to help the black slave find his wife who was separated from her husband and sold elsewhere.

Straight films dealing with a topic of historical importance tend to be too heavy for light entertainment. The issue of slavery and African slave trade is one such cliche ridden and overdone theme. This film is all about slavery in America during mid 19th century but the theme is so masterfully enmeshed in a light, entertaining and personal story of a black slave and his quest to find his wife that you don’t really feel the heaviness of the topic. It’s cleverly funny and offensive at the same time.

2 hours 45 minutes run time is 45 minutes too long. The plot and sequence of events doesn’t quite justify the length. Tarantino’s films are known for their non-linear and chaotic plot lines. This one is pretty linear and drags half way.

The unceremonious and sudden death of the intelligent and savvy Christoph Waltz, the lead character and bounty hunter, at the house of the plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio) also didn’t go down well with me.

The dramatic escape of Jamie Foxx too was too oversimplified. I’d give it one star less than I’d have if not for these weaknesses. 4/5

Best actor of the film is undoubtedly Christoph Waltz for his excellent delivery of intelligent dialogue followed by Samuel L. Jackson, the house Negro at Leonardo DiCaprio’s estate, a self-hating black. IMDb Link

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