Jamie Foxx plays Django, a slave turned bounty hunter who, along with his European partner Dr. King Schultz (played by the amazing Christoph Waltz), travel the antebellum South, killing bad dudes and searching for Django's long lost wife hoping to buy her freedom. Leonardo DiCaprio plays a vile plantation owner and Samuel L. Jackson his ruthless slave/house servant.
The thing I love most about Django Unchained, is how the film bends over backwards to remind the viewer just how horrible, how ridiculous and how real slavery was in American history. People are beaten, whipped, stripped nude, tortured and attacked by dogs. It's all cringe worthy violence but helps propel the film's narrative: the American South was a fucked place before the Civil War.
Tarantino uses Waltz and DiCaprio's characters like yin and yang symbols. Both are smooth talking, educated white men whose lives are directly intertwined with blacks. Waltz, the white man who liberated Django and stands on the right side of history, is a European immigrant who looks at the backwards ignorance of DiCaprio and his Southern culture (who so desperately try to mimic European aristocratic life on their plantations) with disgust. There is no single villain in Django Unchained, it's all of Southern Culture and the poisonous idea of slavery that's at target.
So while I really enjoyed this film, I do have my complaints. First, its too long. Yes everything looked cool on screen but Christ man, the film is damn near 3 hours! I personally think 30 minutes could have been trimmed without hurting the film's overall narrative and hell it would have even helped the film's pacing. Next, I get it Quentin, your a great director. Please, please stop writing your name in CAPITAL LETTERS across everything you do. It stopped being cute in Kill Bill. Django's crazy outfit, the odd choice of modern rap music thrown into a film set in the mid 19th century...I mean c'mon. It's just too much sometimes. I know who's directing this you don't have to keep reminding us. Oh look, Tarantino has a cameo during the films 3rd false ending and it's easily the worst thing about the entire movie. Great. I love being immersed in films but Tarantino's blatant Tarantino-isms do nothing but yank me right out.
Django is still a great movie that I highly recommend. I'm just sad that I only liked it and didn't fall in love.