Subscribe Search

Search form

Humour, havoc: Tarantino heaven

Humour, havoc: Tarantino heaven

130208 12b
Leonardo DiCaprio plays the overbearing slave master to Jamie Foxx’s revenging hero. Photograph: Boomberg

A brilliantly crafted take on the spaghetti western, Django Unchained’s sharply juxtaposed servings of brutal violence and humour, delivered with trademark gore, makes for exhilarating yet emotionally exhausting viewing.

Nominated for five Academy Awards, Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece follows the journey of the slave Django, played well by Jamie Foxx, who is released from his life of slavery by the German bounty hunter Dr King Shultz (Christopher Waltz).

Shultz enlists Django’s help to find and kill a group of outlaws, promising in return to free the slave, help him find his beloved wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) and wreak vengeance on the people who tore them apart.

The expedition leads them to the cruel and charismatic plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), to whom the pair pretends to be in the market for Gladiator-style combat slaves, called ‘Mandingo fighters’ - before all hell breaks loose.

Despite its 167-minute running time, this Quentin Tarantino offering - possibly the best yet, and if not, then definitely top three – keeps the viewer utterly hooked from beginning to end. Excessively violent, this is not for the squeamish, but if you’re a Tarantino fan, you’ll be in heaven

The taxing depiction of the realities of slave life in pre-civil America are happily broken up by Christopher Waltz’s witty and loveable performance as Dr King Shultz, for which he has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

A fantastic scene in which the unlikely Jonah Hill (Superbad, 21 Jump Street), features as a hopeless bag-wearing white supremacist, will have audiences clutching their sides with laughter.

Jamie Foxx’s performance as Django is consistent, and right on the money, as he holds his own alongside heavy-weight drama superstar Leonardo DiCaprio.

Samuel L. Jackson puts in a good performance as a grotesquely loyal slave who sticks by his oppressive owner, leading to disaster for the other characters.

Unfortunately, the main female presence outside the male-dominated cast is weak. Kerry Washington, who plays Broomhilda, Django’s wife, comes across as screechy, and one-dimensional.

The much-anticipated cameo by Tarantino is longer than usual and pays homage to the adage that people should stick to what they do best.

The soundtrack was fantastically western, and the tailor-made theme song, by Luis Enriquez Bacalov, was overstated, but again worked somehow.

Django Unchained was just the right amount of action, gore, drama, intensity, and humour. It was undeniably Tarantino, and definitely worth the trip. Especially since no horses were harmed in the making of the movie.

To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Walters at [email protected]

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Thy Sovantha threatens new suit

    Social media celebrity and card-carrying CPP member Thy Sovantha yesterday said she will file a lawsuit against wildlife NGO head Suwanna Gauntlett alleging discrimination after the latter allegedly denied her access to an ecotourism program the group is launching today in Koh Kong province. The

  • Police raid Siem Reap party, arrest 10 foreigners over ‘pornographic’ images

    A group of 10 foreign tourists appeared in court today after being arrested for producing “pornographic” photos in Siem Reap town on Thursday, while dozens more were detained temporarily and let go after being lectured on their behaviour, according to authorities. A report posted to the

  • Hun Sen’s in-law removed from RCAF after cockfighting rings raided

    Thai Phany, the nephew-in-law of Prime Minister Hun Sen who is accused of running two large cockfighting rings, has been removed as a general in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces. Phany, formerly a one-star brigadier general, was removed by royal decree on December 19, according to

  • Government approves plan to relocate Phnom Penh’s airport

    The government has signed off on a proposal to build a new airport to serve Phnom Penh and has earmarked land in Kandal province for the $1.5 billion project. A new international airport to replace the existing Phnom Penh International Airport will be constructed on partially