Rating : 8/10
Release Date : 22nd March, 2013
Time : 165 minutes
Director & Writer : Quentin Tarantino; Music : Mary Ramos, Quentin Tarantino, Ennio Morricone
Starring : Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo Di Caprio, Samuel L Jackson, Kerry Washington, Laura Cayouette
Classic Tarantino. Draw up some fascinating characters, infuse life into them, give them quirks that make them walk amongst us. Throw in a scintillating soundtrack. Awesome acting. Amazing action (imagine Kill Bill but in the Wild West). And wrap it all up against the backdrop of the years of the slave trade, just before the Civil War. Voila, you have a film that enchants and enthralls at the same time.
We can carp over details – its probably a bit longer than it needed to be. Its highly unlikely a real slave, like Jamie Foxx, could behave the way he did after years of servitude being drilled into him. Its unlikely that the unlikely team of Christoph Waltz, the German dentist cum bounty hunter and Jamie, get as far as they do with the ruthless plantation owner, Leonardo Di Caprio. But while watching you don’t feel so, it all comes across as very natural, and aided by the good doctor’s eccentricities, very enjoyable too.
Christopher Waltz, bounty hunter extraordinaire, doesn’t believe in slavery. And when he encounters Jamie Foxx, a slave with ‘sand in him’, who is useless to his masters, he is happy to partner with him in the true sense of the word. Offer him a cut of the money, let him pick his own clothes, train him and empower him. And then, after a profitable winter, help him in his quest to find his wife…
Jamie Foxx smoulders in his role, the strong, silent type but with a huge chip on his shoulder regarding his colour and status as freeman. Leo Caprio is believable as a plantation owner with his own ideas on what to do to relieve himself of boredom. Samuel L Jackson is great as Leo’s helper in chief. But its Christopher Waltz, as the trigger happy, smiling, suave, verbose, fashionable and quirky bounty hunter, who provides the soul to the film. Who breathes life and fun into a film that otherwise highlights the terrible times of slavery, a time when one race ruled over another just on the basis of skin colour and a perceived, erroneous notion of scientific superiority.
This is not a film you forget in a hurry. Be prepared for lots of bloodshed – in terms of body count its probably just shy of Kill Bill but not that far behind. Be prepared to be shaken up a little. Be ready for dialogue that bites (the bit about Alexander Dumas, the silent ‘D’ in Django, the Ku Klux Klan and the problem with the hoods, the knife edge exchanges between Waltz and Leo), all just make this film a wonderful cocktail of the sweet yet sour kind…and with a kick that makes sure the feeling lasts for some time to come.