3 December 2020 | filipemanuelneto
It's not perfect but it's very good... and I'm not even a fan of Tarantino!
I just saw this film and I confess that I am completely satisfied. I am not an admirer of Tarantino but I have little to say about this film, inspired by a character from the sixties western-spaghetti films and mixing western with blacksploitation. Tarantino's style (exaggerated, showy, extravagant and excessive) is all there before us, but unlike other films I didn't feel that this was a problem or transformed the film into a kind of parody.
The plot is about the search that Django, a former slave who is unexpectedly released and becomes a bounty hunter, will do for his wife, a slave who was sold and disappeared. He has the help of a German, responsible for his release. Together they discover that she is at the home of a rude slave-owner called Cotton Candy who, among other businesses, profits from death fights between slaves. So they decide to disguise themselves as experts in the field to go to his plantation and try to buy her freedom without Candy realizing what they want.
The film is very good and, despite being almost three hours long, it has no dead moments and entertains wonderfully. However, although Tarantino's exaggerations and histrionic vision were not a problem this time, there are some points that were really uncomfortable, mainly concerning historical rigor, which, we already know, is not something that he really takes seriously (another reason why I don't like him as a director). To begin with, such Mandingo Fights never existed. We are not in Ancient Rome and the slave owners, however bad they were, did not like to throw money out the window and kill for pleasure their best pieces! Tarantino went to get that silly idea from another film he liked and pasted it here. Another problem is the use of dynamite, which would only be invented a few years after the period in which the film takes place. The clothes also do not match the time or place of the action. The outfit of the Club's black maid, with that miniskirt, is particularly bad in that it sexualizes the character and imports a 21st century scent into the middle of the 19th century. I will not go on much longer, I think I proved my point. Another thing I have to say is that this is a very violent film, Tarantino style, that is, with a ton of blood for each bullet, spectacular shootings, some nudity and high doses of brutality. The dialogues are also full of racist insults and profanity, but I think that was something the film asked for, in support of its own credibility. In short, this is not a movie for anyone. With Tarantino, this is often taken for granted.
The main role was given to Jamie Foxx, and he is superb and gives the character a strength and toughness that I liked, and which contrast nicely with the polite sensitivity of Dr. Schultz, brilliantly played by Christopher Waltz. This actor had already done an extraordinary job in "Inglorious Bastards" and now he was even better, with a character that seems tailor-made for him. I was particularly impressed with the work of Leonardo Di Caprio, who rarely manages to make villains. He is an actor with a rare talent and has managed to be worthy of our contempt in this film. Another actor who shines in this film is the veteran Samuel L. Jackson, in the role of a black butler so fond of the owner that he becomes more slavish than whites. I also liked the brief cameo of honor of Franco Nero, the actor who played Django in the original films. It was an elegant and honorable way for Tarantino to bow to the actor and the work that inspired him. Much less impressive was the performance of Kerry Washington, who has little time and material to show what is worth.
Technically, it is a film full of notable aspects that require our attention and that, to a large extent, are part of the director's brand image. It is the case of cinematography and the use of strong colors and slow motion footage in action scenes, features of a strong visual style that Tarantino loves. The sets are good, and also the costumes despite the anachronisms that I have mentioned. The film has a pleasant pace, but the first half was generally better yet more restrained: it seems that Tarantino gets lost in his own style as he approaches the most violent scenes. The soundtrack is great and takes advantage of several songs by various composers. Personally, I enjoyed listening to the original song from "Django" by Luis Bacalov, and the songs composed for this film by Ennio Morricone, a name that will always be associated, in collective memory, with the great western-spaghetti of the past. It was a careful, effective and honorable selection in the way it honors the genre.