Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Tuesday, 25 December 2012 01:00

‘Django Unchained’ highlights good storytelling and acting

‘Django Unchained’ highlights good storytelling and acting unchainedmovie.com
Written by Diane Carson
Rate this item
(1 Vote)

About this Media...

  • Director: Quentin Tarantino
  • Dates: Opens December 25, 2012

The opening titles of “Django Unchained” announce: “1858. Somewhere in Texas. 2 years before the Civil War.” A chain gang of slaves struggles through the dark, interrupted by an educated, polite individual. In short order the hunt for wanted men and a beloved wife will reveal the underbelly of cinematic depictions of the old West, plantation life, and American myths.

As typical of writer/director Quentin Tarantino, the unnecessarily ugly and regularly interjected violence bears his in-your-face approach. More is more but it’s not as effective as it was 10 years ago. Most unfortunately, the violence detracts from a truly subversive critique of slavery, power, and greed, all lacking humane features. As “Django Unchained” exists, the condemnation is embedded in good storytelling, but I wanted more satirical bite.

The acting drives the film. As Tarantino knows, an affectionate send-up of familiar themes and the 1966 western “Django” benefits from actors who can sell his homage without tongue in cheek performances. As Django, Jamie Foxx, who begins incredulous and cringing, convincingly segues into an overly confident free man enjoying his revenge against cruelty with the full force of his own. Christoph Waltz sustains a charismatic presence as the intelligent, condescending, ruthless bounty hunter, ex-dentist Dr. King Schultz. As in “Inglourious Basterds,” [sic] his pitch perfect delivery combines Schultz’s sly observational powers with a cutthroat commitment to his “job.”

Samuel L. Jackson, nearly unrecognizable behind his makeup, costume, and his nonverbal acting choices, turns in a clever mockery of subservient behavior as Stephen, Candieland’s top house slave. Ruling that plantation as Calvin Candie, Leonardo DiCaprio pushes the envelope right to the edge of excess, but then daintily steps back. As the wife Broomhilde whom Django must reclaim and rescue, Kerry Washington is underused, though she gives her limited scenes energy and appeal.

Robert Richardson’s cinematography makes every composition fabulous with superb lighting. The music is effective without getting in the way of the story. Bold titles, a Tarantino cameo, among others, an overlong film—we’re in Q land with “Django Unchained” and his fans will enjoy the visit.

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


Dad Jr: Get Down. Hard.

Sun June 29

Graham Pagano

Mon June 23
Graham Pagano's debut album Quit Complaining is a high charged mix of old and new music. his old blues and classic country feel blended up with a rock and roll attitude makes this stripped down album explode…

KDHX Recommends

July
Wednesday
16

Man or Astroman, Sallie Ford

KDHX welcomes Man or Astroman to the Firebird on Wednesday, July 16 at 8pm.   For more information, firebirdstl.com.


July
Friday
18

Billy Joe Shaver

KDHX welcomes Billy Joe Shaver to the Old Rock House Friday, July 18 at 8pm.   For more information, visit oldrockhouse.com.    


July
Saturday
19

Jenny Kavanaugh Band at Harvest Sessions 2014

Jenny Kavanaugh Band at Harvest Sessions 2014 Harvest Sessions is proud to welcome the Jenny Kavanaugh Band for two full sets of rock, folk and Americana. This free Saturday morning concert series takes place at the Tower Grove Farmers' Market, and runs May through...


Online Users

5 users and 13180 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook