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


The Mound City Slickers

Mon August 4

KDHX Recommends

August
Saturday
30

Cave States at Harvest Sessions 2014

Cave States at Harvest Sessions 2014 Cave States makes its debut live performance at Harvest Sessions this week. The acoustic Americana band features veteran St. Louis musicians Danny Kathriner, Chris Grabau, Todd Schnitzer, John Higgins and John Horton. This free...


September
Friday
05

Art Outside

Art Outside is not an ordinary fair, but one that features art, music and plenty of food and drink from Schlafly Beer. Hosted at the brewery’s Bottleworks location in Maplewood, Missouri, Art Outside draws approximately 15,000...


September
Saturday
06

T&A (Tom Hall and Alice Spencer) at Harvest Sessions 2014

T&A (Tom Hall and Alice Spencer) at Harvest Sessions 2014 T&A is the acoustic duo of Tom Hall and Alice Spencer, veterans of the legendary Geyer Street Sheiks, and accomplished solo artists in their own right. Harvest Sessions is thrilled to welcome them for two sets of acoustic blues,...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

1 user and 14482 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook