Film Review – Django Unchained

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino
Players: Jamie Foxx; Christoph Waltz; Kerry Washington; Leonardo di Caprio; Samuel T. Jackson; Bruce Dern
Genre: action; violence; satire
Venue: Cine 2, Ster Kinekor,  Maerua Mall
Rating: ***

This film appeared to be highly regarded among Academy members at the Oscars, winning Best Adapted screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Christoph Waltz as Dr King Schultz, dentist turned bounty hunter. I find it difficult to share the Academy adulation which seems to be accorded to this director/writer and feel personally that Tarantino has found a niche market – violence – and is milking this for all it is worth. The violence of the climax demeans and overshadows some of the earlier sections of the film which have some worthy social criticism of the most abhorrent of practices – the slave trade.
Generally, though, Tarantino’s approach to satire has the subtlety of a sledgehammer, which would probably rate as a preferred weapon, along with the sub-machine gun, whips, and dynamite in abundance, vicious man-eating dogs, and a remarkable repeating revolver. No character in a Tarantino film ever expires quietly on a feather pillow with a priest’s soothing mantra to usher him to the next world. In Tarantino films, characters die noisily, with a good deal of squirming and screaming, and usually require at least three bullets to finish them off and to silence their torment.