When former German dentist Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) meets slave Django (Jamie Foxx) whilst he is being transported by slave traders, he asks if he knows the Brittle brothers. With Django’s knowledge of these men confirmed, Schultz purchases him, then reveals to Django that he is a bounty hunter chasing John, Ellis and Roger Brittle. He proposes a deal that if Django gives him the help he so desperately needs, Schultz will give him his freedom, a horse and $75 in return. Django reveals that he will use that money to buy the freedom of his wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), and so Schultz modifies the proposal so that Django stays with him throughout the winter as his deputy, and in the spring, Django would receive a third of all the bounties they collect as well as Schultz’s assistance in rescuing Broomhilda. Django accepts the new deal, and him and Schultz become good friends. When spring arrives, the pair learn that Broomhilda was sold to the ruthless Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) in Mississippi. Schultz plots a scheme with Django to lure Calvin and rescue Broomhilda, but the head of the house help at the Candyland estate Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson) is not quite so easily fooled.
In 2012, Tarantino returned with Django Unchained. With this film, he dipped his toe into the Western genre and gave it a new lease of life. The film was also a big hit with critics and was successful in securing two Oscars, two Golden Globes and two BAFTAs. Not too shabby, I suppose…
I think it was with Django that Jamie Foxx confirmed that his acting career was back underway. Well, I’ll tell you now that it’s not hard to see why. He was ferociously entertaining as the freed slave on the trail of his beloved wife’s captors. Like Samuel L. Jackson, Foxx knew exactly how to deliver some of the killer lines that Tarantino wrote for him, I’m positive he was absolutely terrific.
QT clearly knew he was on to a good thing with Christoph Waltz after he hand-picked the man for Inglorious Basterds as he cast the man as Dr. King Schultz – another role in which Waltz gave us a masterclass on how to act. It was yet another elegant performance from Waltz which earned him the Best Supporting Actor gong at the 2012 Academy Awards – his second time winning the award after it was previously given to him for his stellar performance in Tarantino’s prior film, Inglorious Basterds. The man is a jewel, and as Schultz he was a real asset to Django Unchained.
Django Unchained has a special place in my heart as it was the first Tarantino film I ever saw, and there was one scene in particular that pretty much guaranteed that I would return to his films in future. The ‘Bag-Heads’ scene, where Big Daddy gets his men together to lynch Schultz and Django. When I first saw this scene I was unable to carry on with the film for ten minutes afterwards as I couldn’t for the life of me stop laughing. I’d go as far as to say it’s one of the most comical scenes in cinema history, and even if you don’t go on to watch the whole film after reading this, I strongly suggest you at least YouTube that particular scene. It is gold, and quite possibly the primary reason why I’m such a fan of films directed by this man today.
So, as this is my second favourite Tarantino film, you know what I’m going to say. Django Unchained is a raucous bit of fun and it’s close-to three hour run-time glides by seamlessly. I love it, and enjoy it more and more each time I watch it, and I think that it’s only fair that I share it with you.