01 January 2013

Review: Django Unchained

Genre: Comedy

Mr. Tarantino's Django Unchained is not, as many people would have it, a racially charged epithet against the progress made by proponents of abolition and equality among men but is rather, as it was written to be and as Inglourious Basterds (2009) was, a clever send-up of those who would speak up to protect the so-called sacrosanctity of the relevant topics in social and cultural discourse both polite and casual. As it is, the result is brilliant. Under Mr. Tarantino's glowing hand, the characters spring to life in a charming, mostly well-paced and even jaunty, literally and figuratively explosive, and cacklingly comical adventure into, cleverly, what is again the new old frontier. Mr. Waltz delivers a popping performance, in key locked tight with Mr. Tarantino's audiovision - audio vision, indeed, for music unsurprisingly figures as importantly and proudly as image in his cinematic work. To this end, Mr. Morricone's work is perfect. Not in any way neglecting to mention Mr. Jackson's tremendous [and though the expression be cliché] scene stealing performance or Mr. DiCaprio's own able acting, I must conclude by mentioning how the curious sound mixing and the slightly lumpy pacing in places defected the figure of the film. The bursts and shudders of the soundtrack veered unwittingly into erraticism, betraying the zany but ultimately controlled plan spiriting forward the action of the film, and the bowing out of the plot midstream - particularly when the protagonists are busy socially entangling themselves with Calvin Candie, Mr. DiCaprio's character - weighs down an otherwise lithe and quippy body. Yet, the film eventually rights itself and finishes with aplomb in a bang - for real.

Grade: A-.

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