Saturday, 19 January 2013

Django Unchained

 In a medium where little refuses to be transcribed onto screen it was almost an inevitability that the dark story of the slave trade would fall into production and typically into the hands of the universally praised Quentin Tarantino. Famous for his relentless violence and quirky protagonists, recently Tarantino has found his films follow a descending spiral as a victim of his own overactive imagination. With Django Unchained being perhaps his most controversial yet, desires for the 'classic Tarantino' to return ran high and although for the most part this is true he remains undoubtedly shackled to his familiar overindulgence's.

 Following in his trend of re-casting, Django Unchained sees the return of Christoph Waltz after his Oscar winning 'Inglorious Bastards' performance now in the lead role of Dr. King Schultz a German bounty hunter searching for the help of slave, Django played by Jamie Foxx in order to track down the criminal 'brittle brothers'. Soon enough a friendship forms and they both agree to form a pact which results in the hopeful retrieval of Django's enslaved wife. As we follow both heroes on their journey through picturesque 19th century western America we are instantly reminded of Tarantino at his very best. With his heavily stylistic tones and eccentric characters driving the film through vastly entertaining sequences of hilarity and over excessive violence. This coinciding with an excellent score encouraging the characters and providing an extra blow in the action sequences, results in some of the most impressive and restrained scenes of violence in Tarantino's bloody collection  Being based on a very taboo subject it comes as a surprise to say that Django Unchained is a very funny film, heavily working in it's favour  Rarely are Tarantino movies put under the analytical microscope in search of hidden themes and underlying messages, he has a knack of making films that stand alone as being extremely entertaining and subsequently engaging. The comedy is more than appropriate in this picture in order to balance the film's dark tones with uplifting entertainment, less can be said however for the films violence which once again proves to be horribly gratuitous and unnecessary.  It can be argued that this only adds to the enjoyment which is correct to an extent but only if it's within context, most notably a scene in this film where a slave is ripped apart by savage dogs was not only disturbingly unpleasant but also totally irrelevant to the story at hand,  feeling like it was implemented only to bring about controversy.

 The narrative is satisfyingly entertaining supplying the film with a base whereby it can splash it's creative features and ambition, however it does ultimately prove to ware thin and tired towards the end of the films tedious running time. Following in the odd tradition of extended running-times Django Unchained would've worked much better as a simple one and a half hour feature film, proving to drag very much in the concluding hour. Including almost three stations in which the film could've and should've ended, the film never ceases to conclude continuing with a story which has now bared thin and contains little relevance or artistry. With this comes possibly some of Quentin Tarantino's worst sequences of film-making the most poignant of which involves a cameo of himself as an Australian miner, which is as idiotic as it is poorly performed. Within the final sequences however also comes some excellent performances inside some creative set-pieces of action and compelling dialogue  The performance of Leonardo DiCaprio most prominently reminded the audience why he's one of the most accomplished actors in the business with his dominating screen presense fueling his intimidatingly sinister nature. Similarly Christoph Waltz also provides an excellent performance no matter how comparable his character may be with his 'Inglorious Bastards' role.

 Upon conclusion an irregular sense of tiresome incompletion is felt. No matter how entertaining the film may have been it is ultimately unsuccessful in leaving a lasting impression. With the shroud of 'style over substance' wavering proud above Tarantino, this film shows to follow having real comedic flair and satisfyingly gruesome action scenes yet no real aim. Ultimately the most recent in Tarantino's proud collection proves to have little substance and relation only providing blood guts and quirky characters to tend to the needs of it's craving audience.

7/10- Despite it's fun nature, Tarantino proves to once again go overboard showing too much and providing little substance.

Calum Russell

No comments:

Post a Comment