If I say this one might be my favorite movie of the year, does that make me a hypocrite? I abhor violence in real life and am one of those yelling for gun control, but I’ve always been a fan of westerns, particularly spaghetti westerns, and Quentin Tarantino’s new movie is a homage to that genre – in a twisted, Tarantino-ish, “Inglorious Basterds” sort of way. In other words, there’s blood, guns, killing and, above all, moments of genuine comedy, and I loved it.
Set in the South two years before the Civil War when the idea of ending slavery wasn’t even on the horizon, “Django Unchained” stars Jamie Foxx as Django, a slave enlisted by a wily German bounty hunter (the wonderful Christoph Waltz) to help him track down the murderous Brittle brothers, with whom Django has cross paths. Their real mission becomes finding and rescuing Django’s wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), from whom he was separated after they were each sold to different slave owners. Their search ultimately leads them to Candyland, the infamous plantation owned by Calvin Candie (an amazing Leo DiCaprio), who runs the place like a crazed king with the help of his trusted house slave, Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson in the role of his life).
Many shoot-outs ensue as Django seeks justice, but so do scenes of uproariously funny dialogue. This isn’t a movie for the easily offended; the “N” word is thrown around as if it’s no big deal. And there were a couple of especially gruesome scenes that made me hide my eyes. What’s more, the film is a ridiculous 2 3/4 hours long. Still, it was quite an experience.