JTW’s analysis of the Oscars 2013 – Django Unchained

The 85th Academy Awards (colloquially known as the Oscars) concluded on February 24, 2013 at the lavish Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, marking the end to the highly-publicized awards season and to the intense lobbying that marks the pre-Oscars period. And as is the case with every year’s edition, the 2013 Oscars witnessed their share of expected wins and surprises (both pleasant and unpleasant). So here’s my recap of this year’s Oscar-nominated films. Tanqeed members may or may not have seen these films; for those who haven’t, consider this as a recommendation/warning against the said films.

NOTE : I have not seen all the Oscar-nominated films, and will give my views only on those which I have seen.


Quentin Tarantino is one of Hollywood’s most prolific directors, and a highly well-known name in the movie business due to his sub-genre of film-making. So its a bit disappointing to watch Django Unchained, a very good film but easily Tarantino’s weakest work till date.

The story of the film, revolving around a black slave Django in the pre-Civil War era of America and his freeing by a German bounty hunter, which subsequently results in a business partnership and a  journey to find and free Django’s wife from the clutches of a brutal plantation owner, is the sort of violently quirky fare that Tarantino has mastered and made so successful. Alas, the film itself has a number of weaknesses that rob it of its pleasures. For those of you who want a comparison between Django Unchained and Tarantino’s previous direction Inglorious Basterds, it is obvious that the latter far exceeds the former in almost every respect.

For one, the pacing is problematic, and there are times when the film tends to drag a bit. Christoph Waltz’s performance is enormously irritating, and his way of speaking got on my nerves almost all the time; clearly one of the most over-rated performances of the year, and nowhere close to his fabulous performance in Inglorious Basterds. Jamie Foxx as Django seems dull and uninterested, and he fails to bring depth to his character. This, however, can also be blamed on Tarantino’s screenplay, which simply doesn’t allow Django with much scope for character development (I sometimes think that Waltz had a more significant role than Foxx).

This doesn’t mean that Django Unchained is all trash. Tarantino’s direction is smooth enough, though his use of title cards is disconcerting and spoil the overall effect. Leonardo DiCaprio is brilliantly charismatic, funny and ruthless; then again, one expects an actor of his caliber to deliver, and he’s certainly a better performer than Waltz. Kerry Washington doesn’t have much to do, but is decent. The dialogues are hilarious at places, and awkward at others. The cinematography is good but not noteworthy. The themes and their visual representation are excellent, and give a vivid picture of racist America.

All in all, Django Unchained should be watched. But you will end the experience knowing that this could have been so much better.

RATING – 70/100

Keep watching for more Oscar reviews!

  1. sputnik 11 years ago


    I would suggest having the title of the movie in the heading of the post.

    This was my comment on Django Unchained after watching the movie.

    “Django Unchained is a typical Quentin Tarantino movie filled with blood-sprouting gunshots, hip songs and cool dialogues. Its a masala movie or a fantasy where a Black guy kills those white slave owners. Now whats a surprise is that its not non linear which is a trademark of QT movies. Jamie Fox is ok as Django. Christoph Waltz is excellent and some of his initial scenes are excellent. Leonardo DiCaprio is very good too as the charming but evil slave owner. Samuel L. Jackson is excellent too as the house slave. Christoph Waltz , Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson have good chance for at least getting nominations for Best Supporting Actor. Movie will probably get nominations for Best Picture and Best Director but I don’t think it will win.”

    Movies You Watched This Month – January 2013

    The movie does follow the Inglorious Basterds format with revenge for slavery instead.

    Waltz obviously had the more significant role except that he had an abrupt ending. Jamie Fox was the hero just in name. Will Smith recently gave an interview that he rejected Jamie Fox’s role and that he wanted to play the lead role of Waltz.

  2. Author
    Jasper 11 years ago


    Sure, I’ll do that 🙂

  3. cr7 11 years ago

    welcome back JTW . btw it is the first time i’m seeing someone rates a movie on the scale of 100 . looks like a good idea.

  4. Reddemon 11 years ago

    I liked Django Unchained a lot.
    8500/10000 😛

    • Author
      Jasper 11 years ago

      Sure, each person has his individual opinion :).

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