Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

{Django Unchained opens in Seattle on December 25, Christmas Day, and is screening at SIFF Cinemas Uptown, Regal Meridian, Landmark Varsity, and Thornton Place}

I am a Tarantino fangirl through and through. There is not one single thing he’s done that I don’t love with all my heart … but I was still a little worried about Django, since it’s a Western and that genre is not really my favorite.

But I shouldn’t have.

Django Unchained is everything I wanted it to be: a kick-ass tale of revenge with amazing performances from its leads, smart chunks of dialog punctuated by action, blood-spattered (and more blood-spattered) gun fights, and Quentin Tarantino with a ridiculous Australian accent. I LOVED ALL OF IT. Even the twangy Western ballads sprinkled throughout.

Jamie Foxx is Django (“The D is silent”), a slave being dragged across the country in chains, when he runs into Dr. King Schultz (as much as Christoph Waltz rules in Inglorious Basterds as a villain, he rules even more here as one of the good guys). Schultz needs Django to identify his former masters so that he can kill them and collect the bounty on their heads, so he buys Django with the promise of setting him free once he helps track down the three brothers he’s looking for.

Naturally, they find the loathsome brothers on the sprawling cotton plantation of Big Daddy (I can’t think of a better person to ham this part up than Don Johnson. So perfect!), and since Django is pretty pissed at the brothers for past treatment, he lets loose all kinds of hell.

This is all fine with Schultz, since he gets the money whether his bounty is dead or alive, and he’s also pretty disgusted with the idea of slavery. But it’s not so fine with Big Daddy, which leads to a little hitch later involving Jonah Hill and some poorly constructed white hoods. Wait. What. 

After Django relays the story of his missing wife, Broomhilda, to Schultz, the two partner up to hunt bounties all winter with a plan to track her down in the spring and buy her back from her current owner—a mustachioed gentlemen named Calvin Candie (Leo!) who runs a plantation called “Candieland” with a fearsome reputation.

Unfortunately, Calvin has a devoted slave named Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson, playing a part well beyond his years with some serious fucking chops) who doesn’t trust the pair right off the bat, and that causes a hitch in the whole plan.

I don’t want to give anything else away, so I’ll stop there. But I think if you love Tarantino, there’s no way you won’t love this.

The only other thing I want to mention is that the dialog is littered with the N-word; which makes sense in the context of the story and within the time its set in, but is still, obviously, disconcerting to hear over and over and over again. Just a heads up for people who might get offended — although honestly, if you’re going to see a Tarantino movie, you should know what you’re in for.

My recommendation: a fine movie to see on Christmas Day, or any time. I can’t wait until it comes out on blu-Ray and I can add it to my QT collection!