By Megan Bianco
Quentin Tarantino has been praised as one of the most versatile and visionary filmmakers of the last two decades. From his graphic ensemble epics Reservoir Dogs (1992) and Pulp Fiction (1994), the blaxploitation homage Jackie Brown (1997), the samurai revenge saga Kill Bill, vols. 1 and 2 (2002-03) and the alternate Holocaust feature Inglourious Basterds (2009), movie fanatics and critics admire him. This December, Columbia Pictures brought us Tarantino’s latest period piece romp with the Western-inspired Django Unchained.
Two years just prior to the Civil War, a dentist turned bounty hunter named Schultz (Christoph Waltz) recruits a slave named Django (Jamie Foxx) to help him hunt down three brothers. In exchange for his partnership, Schultz offers to help Django find and rescue his wife (Kerry Washington) from the vicious plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).
Samuel L. Jackson, Laura Cayouette and Don Johnson co-star. After some initial uneasiness with Tarantino’s overt use of “the N-word” in his script, viewers will be pleasantly surprised to find that Django is a clever and fun action satire. DiCaprio and Jackson deliver some of their best performances in years and though the repeated use of the derogatory term can get a bit awkward at times, the film is riddled with witty dialogue and stunning, gritty direction, in typical Tarantino fashion.