Friday Film Poster #19: Django Unchained

Went to the local cinema to see this last night and absolutely loved it. I’d made a point of avoiding any reviews of the film beforehand, but was aware of some of the controversies that surround it.

Having seen it, I can see why it’s raised a few hackles. Typical Tarantino, blood-soaked and profanity laced – including 110+ (probably historically accurate) uses of the N-word – it’s nonetheless hilarious and thrilling, with a great script and some amazing performances from pretty much everyone involved.

Jamie Foxx is really fantastic as Django – striking down “with great vengeance and furious anger” and looking supercool while doing it (even in his blue satin outfit). DiCaprio is as good in this as he’s ever been, playing the evil slave lord with scene chewing relish and Samuel L Jackson plays his evil house-slave, Stephen, with a particular malevolence.

But special mention, once again, has to go to Christopher Waltz. The Austrian actor’s turn as the Nazi field officer in Tarantno’s previous movie “Inglorious Basterds” won him a well deserved Best Supporting Actor Oscar, a feat he could repeat with his performance here. In a movie full of great characters and zippy dialogue, he gets the best of it.

It’s telling however that when you look at these character posters, Waltz is the only one who isn’t featured in close up, surely a result of his not being a recognisable face amongst casual cinema-goers. Ok, so I wouldn’t recognise Kerry Washington either, but she has other charms that warrant a close-up.

The other 3 posters are fantastic portraits that capture the arrogance of DiCaprio’s character, the icy steel at the heart of Samuel L Jackson’s Stephen and the brooding cool and ever-present threat of violence that is Django.

Stylistically, I love the earthy colour palette and the poses, lighting etc. Looking at them as a set here, the only real use of bright colour is in DiCaprio’s poster, probably to signify the wealth and standing of his character, but it looks to me like the eye has been over-tinted a little. It certainly draws the attention though.

Another thing that stands out to me is the usual “flawless skin” retouching – there isn’t a blemish in site, surely not an accurate recreation of complexions in the mid-19th century!

So great set of posters for an awesome film. Go see!