hmv's Films of 2013: #1 Django Unchained
Quentin Tarantino's recent output could best be described as hit and miss, but this year, all the way back on January 18, he struck gold and produced hmv's Film of 2013, Django Unchained.
The film is his seventh full effort as writer/director and is set in the DeepSouth of the USA in the mid-part of the 19th century.
Starring Jamie Foxx as the eponymous Django, a freed slave, Christoph Waltz as Dr King Schultz, a bounty hunter who frees Django to help him with his work, Leonardo DiCaprio as the vicious plantation owner Calvin Candy, Kerry Washington, Django's wife Broomhilda, who he is desperately trying to find, and Samuel L. Jackson, who is absolutely chilling as the head of Candy's house slaves.
Together, Django and Schultz go into business as bounty hunters and embark on a series of daring adventures in the quest of some big prizes. Eventually Django confides in Schultz that he is searching for his wife and the Dr vows to help them reunite. From there on, it’s carnage…
In many ways, this film feels like the perfect distillation of everything Tarantino has proved he does so well. The dialogue is as offbeat, sharply and blackly comic as ever, the violence (of which there's quite a lot) demonstrates the horrors of the period without feeling gratuitous and the plot keeps twisting and turning constantly.
Then there's the soundtrack, which is, as always with Tarantino, magnificent. A blend of Ennio Morricone's epic, spaghetti western soundscapes, old-school Americana and supremely funky tracks (including the superb mash-up of James Brown and 2pac 'Unchained'), it's up there with his very best work.
Tarantino has been with us too long to feel like a Hollywood outsider anymore, but he remains a true original. This meshes together everything he excels at and it'll be truly fascinating to see what he does next time round.