Tuesday, 29 January 2013
I ventured out to my local cinema today to see Django Unchained and....I loved it.
A good tale well told that fitted its epic length rather well. QT has definitely matured as a film maker to tell this story truthfully and still feel able to tip his hat to his exploitation loves.
It is well directed, well shot, it looks beautiful. The soundtrack is a pleasing damn good mish mash, there are some genuinely funny moments and of course some genuinely tense moments. I love how QT has turned some things totally on its head; in the original Django, the bad guys wore (red) KKK style sacks over their heads and were a figure of genuine menace. Here, on proper Deep South KKK territory, he replicates the 'bag heads' but discards the menace to go for a scene that wouldn't be out of place in Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles!
There's been much talk of the violence of this film, but to be honest I didn't find it in any way OTT, and when you consider the original Django has a man cutting someone's ear off and eating it before him, this seems largely tame. The violence inherent in the cruelty of slavery is respectfully addressed in an utterly non sensationalist way, and often played out on the fringes of the action, seen briefly. QT wisely leaves the majority to our imagination. The rest is just squibs-a-go-go, a delightful homage to Peckinpah.
Leonardo Di Caprio proves once again what a genuine and interesting film star he is, Jamie Foxx gives his greatest ever performance, Samuel L Jackson as both terrifying and amusing in equal measure, there's amusing cameos from the likes of original Django Franco Nero (his "I know" line when Foxx tells him the D is silent, is beautifully played) Lee Horsley, Jonah Hill and Don Johnson (plus one definitely unneeded cameo from QT himself, sporting an awful Australian accent. Seriously mate, give it a break with the cameos) and Christoph Waltz pretty much steals the film. His Dr King Schultz is now my hero.
The cinema experience itself - something I loathe and dread - wasn't too bad. There's a lot to be said for afternoon matinees as it means the screening room itself is largely empty, though I did end up with a couple sat an empty seat away from me; she was constantly looking at her mobile phone, he curled up against her and went to sleep after 90 minutes! And there was the ridiculous queue to get a ticket as my local cinema has dispensed with a box office, preferring instead that you buy a ticket either in advance or get served at the sweets/icecream/drinks/popcorn etc stands, in an attempt to get you to hand over cash for their goodies as well. No dice.