Django Unchained ★★★★★

"Not while I got freedom.
Not while I got my gun."

*SOMEWHAT SPOILERY*

Every inch as gloriously mythic and searingly provocative as it was seven years ago on my first viewing. I now believe that Basterds stands as a greater achievement, yet Unchained almost equals its predecessor for gorgeous style and blood-soaked spectacle. Is this the most purely entertaining Western produced since the days of Leone and Corbucci? Methinks that's a debate worth having.

And personally, I love that the film doesn't end where most people think it should have ended. Finish on the Candyland shootout, and Django's character arc is lost in a cloud of squibs and red mist. By carrying on and demonstrating how he triumphs through his own agency (i.e. without a white man to rescue him), the film completes its parallel with the story of Siegfried while providing a proper climax loaded with exquisite catharsis. Would that all racists could meet with such righteous Hellfire.

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