“Django Unchained” is not without its faults, but you’d have a tough time identifying them. Bold, bloody, and stylistically daring, Django Unchained is another incendiary masterpiece from Quentin Tarantino. Set in the South two years before the Civil War, Django Unchained stars Jamie Foxx as Django, a slave whose brutal history with his former owners lands him face to face with German born bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (played wonderfully by Christoph Waltz). Schultz is on the trail of the murderous Brittle brothers and only Django can lead him to his bounty. Honing vital hunting skills, Django remains focused on one goal, finding and rescuing Broomhilda (the sexy Kerry Washington). Broomhilda is the wife Django lost to the slave trade long ago. Django and Schultz’s search ultimately leads them to Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), the proprietor of “Candyland,” an infamous plantation. Exploring the compound under false pretenses, Django and Schultz arouse the suspicion of Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson), Candie’s trusted house slave.
“Django Unchained” draws its inspiration from movies in the more obscure movie genre. Two, to be specific. First, the Sergio Leone-like Spaghetti Western of Sergio Corbucci’s entitled “Django,” made in 1966 and starring Franco Nero, rather than pictures like “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” although this movie does have references to that Clint Eastwood starring classic. Second, and perhaps more crucially, the even more obscure blacksploitation Western, like “The Legend of Nigger Charlie” from 1972 and “Boss Nigger” from 1975 starring Fred Williamson.
Still, Django, with its theme of how people play roles to navigate tricky situations, and its frank assessment of slavery, leaves a viewer with plenty of conversation afterwards. Take a friend, you’ll have plenty to talk about when you leave the theater. Your beloved Raphie.