Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Who unleashed that director?

QUENTIN TARANTINO is back to his genre-busting tricks again with Django Unchained which opens — a little belatedly, for it

QUENTIN TARANTINO is back to his genre-busting tricks again with Django Unchained which opens — a little belatedly, for it went on general release back in mid-January — at the Regal Picturehouse in Henley this weekend.

This time the pop art director takes on that most revered of Hollywood movie traditions, the Western, and turns it upside-down, inside-out and on its head in the way that only Tarantino can — and comes out with a Southern.

The original Django was a 1966 Spaghetti Western that earned a reputation as being one of the most violent films ever made. So graphic were its many scenes of murder and butchery that it was refused a certificate in this country until the Nineties. (It is perhaps significant to mention here that in 2004 it was downgraded to a 15.)

Like the original, Django Unchained is basically the story of a man rescuing a damsel in distress. The difference is the protagonist is a black slave, played by Jamie Foxx, who is freed by bounty hunter Dr King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) in order to help him track down three outlaw brothers. Schultz is astonished to learn that his new companion is married, and that his wife is being held in a plantation by the wicked Calvin Candie, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Together, they conspire to rescue her.

Like its predecessor, this film is not for the faint-hearted. Tarantino loves his violence, and this film is no exception. It’s a long film, with a running time of 165 minutes, but has won plenty of critical acclaim.

DiCaprio — who seems to get better and better with every role he takes on — has been widely praised for his portrayal as the spiteful, greedy, bullying plantation owner. And unlike Tarantino’s previous movies, this one presents as a linear narrative, without the confusing chops and changes in time.

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