The controversial and absolutely raw film takes us to the 1850s, before the abolition of slavery and the Civil War. With a story centering on the journey of a sympathetic German dentist/bounty hunter and a recently freed slave named Django in search of Django’s wife, Broomhilda historical accuracy is fluid.
Jamie Foxx plays a slave named Django, who at the beginning of the movie is freed by a German dentist/bounty hunter named Dr. King Schultz, played by Christopher Waltz, after the good doctor kills his slavers upon purchasing him. After working with him to kill three wanted men, they come to an agreement to find Django’s wife, Broomhilda (played by the lovely Kerry Washington), who is under the ownership of the darkly charming Calvin J. Candie (played fantastically by Leonardo Di Caprio).
The heroes make for excellent counterparts. Dr. Schultz is educated, witty, and suave, whilst Django is blunt, hard-headed, and more temperamental. But these differences help to highlight their shared traits of compassion and thirst for justice. Their primary antagonists are deliciously dark. Monsieur Candie (as he prefers to be referred to, despite knowing no French) is charismatic and brutal, training his strongest male slaves to fight for entertainment, and viciously torturing the slaves who step one atom of one toe out of line. With his highly devoted house slave Stephen (played by Samuel L. Jackson), he trains his strongest male slaves to be “Mandingos,” who fight each other to the death for his and others’ entertainment and gambling. Samuel L. Jackson’s portrayal of Stephen will likely leave you stunned in how dark and intense he gets.
Controversy has surrounded this movie, and this is understandable. With its use of physical effects instead of CGI (which includes blood splatters galore), unabashed use of the dreaded “N-word,” and constant stream of foul language, this is surely not a movie for the easily offended. If you are a prude of any sort, go ahead and avoid this movie altogether. However, if you appreciate the violence and overall tone, then snap this movie up now. You will not regret it.
As is tradition with Tarantino flicks, this is a movie with a good sense of humor along with its bloody violence. As per usual, the laughs never downplay the overall serious tone of the film. This is a tale of revenge and love, the humor is just an aside. This truly is Tarantino’s love letter to classic spaghetti westerns, with his own violent twist.
This movie is a must-see for all those who are not sensitive or prudish about violence and language. Do not see this with your kids. Get a babysitter. Go enjoy some bloody western action.