You have never seen a cowboy movie quite like this. Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” is a western unlike any other. For starters, it doesn’t take place in the Old West, but in the pre-Civil War South. Secondly, it stars Jamie Foxx as a freed slave, out to save his wife from servitude. But what else would you expect from Tarantino?
The first trailer from “Django Unchained” hit the Web on Wednesday (June 6), and we’ve taken the opportunity to break it down for you into our five key scenes.
Django Is Off The Chain
Right from the start of the first trailer, Tarantino lets us know how “Django Unchained” is going to handle slavery. While the auteur will obviously bring his own irreverent spin to the subject, he is not shying away from showing the ugliest parts of slavery. Once freed, Django stylishly throws off his worn-down blanket in ultra-cool slow-mo, but he reveals the scars and the reality of his captivity. The image perfectly captures how Tarantino strikes the balance between truth and style in what’s sure to be a controversial film.
It’s Good to Be King
But Django is only one half of a dynamic duo. His liberator, the dentist-turned-bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (notice the wordplay), is played by none other than Christoph Waltz, the scene stealer from Tarantino’s last film, “Inglourious Basterds.” Where Colonel Hans Landa was a merciless, if not reasonable, evildoer, Schultz is a simple-minded (but not dumb) kind soul, whose unfamiliarity with slavery makes him sympathetic to Django’s struggle to save his wife. He is an ally to Django, and — like Landa — gets many of the film’s best lines.
The Bloody Cotton
If one image had to capture what Tarantino is attempting to do with “Django Unchained,” this would be it. This movie is the first of its kind, a “bloody Southern,” Tarantino’s own genre of sub-Mason-Dixon Western action. He’s taking the look of the spaghetti Western — something he experimented with in “Kill Bill” and “Inglourious Basterds” — and transplanting it to the South during the time before the Civil War. It’s an entirely original mash-up, the kind we’ve come to expect from Tarantino.
Leo Has Our Attention
Perhaps the biggest attention grabber of this whole affair is former teen heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio as an egotistical plantation owner. For all his great roles, DiCaprio has never played such a clear-cut villain, and it’s clear he’s having one hell of a time in the role of Calvin Candie, who owns slaves and uses them for prize fights to the death. Yeah, that doesn’t sound like the Leo we know, and that’s exactly why we can’t wait.
The “D” Is Silent
Just in case you were wondering, you don’t pronounce the “D.” Jamie Foxx has only appeared in a handful of movies in the years following his Oscar win, but Tarantino has handed him a meaty and thrilling role that could very well lead to a comeback. His portrayal of Django is drastically toned down from Foxx’s usual roles, as Django is a relatively quiet character. Needless to say, he does get his share of badass one-liners in the trailer, and we’re just dying to hear more.
A fun fact about that last shot: it actually contains two Djangos. The man to the right of Foxx is Franco Nero, the man who starred in the spaghetti Western “Django,” Tarantino’s inspiration for the title.
Check out everything we’ve got on “Django Unchained.”
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