I saw Django Unchained with the expectation of any Tarantino fan. But I left shaking my head in disappointment. This is not a bad film, but I'm not saying it's a good one.
The length of the film is one of the main flaws. There are many scenes that do not serve a purpose to its characters and story. Which leads to its pacing problem. These irrelevant scenes exist in the film that often slows it down. It is very unbalanced.
Mostly, it's the characters and performances. Many are giving praise to Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio. Waltz, first of all, is in similar territory when he was in Inglorious Basterds. He and his character served their purpose and Waltz was just fine in the role, but nothing to highly praise. DiCaprio as Calvin Candie was nothing worth noting. Either its in the performance or the script, I never really invested in him. It's as if Tarantino wanted to write a great movie villain and that's what DiCaprio took as his only direction. There is a scene where he gets the evil monologue, but it comes very forced with ultimately ends up destroying the character.
Jamie Foxx, first of all, was the right choice for Django, but I believe that Tarantino did not trust his protagonist. It takes a long while to get invested in him, but at that point, why bother? BUT, the standout for me was Samuel L. Jackson. He takes his character Stephen is able to go beyond the material that is given. There is fun in his performance which is what the film should be.
I am well aware that I will be in the minority, when it comes to disliking the film. How people will try to tell me that there was more to the story than meets the eye, how it's a great revenge tale, how the characters were great and well written etc. But this is not a good Quentin Tarantino film.
The film is too long, with characters that hold the most minimal of interests. I will be really dishearten to see this film receive awards and praise. Maybe it's the love of Quentin that will jade people. I know it will. But after coming out of a strong year for film, Django falls flat.
The movie lacks the confidence of character(s) and story in a hyper active world. It loses it's identity somewhere along the line and the little scenes of greatness cannot save it. Most of all it does not have the joy of film that often add life to Tarantino films.