Taking the tone of Tarantino's films into consideration the majority of the protagonist usually falls under the Villain Protagonist or morally gray category. Up to the individual as to how they see Django in that.
Django seems to be a plain ol' hero to Tarantino, as he thought Django being too much of a good guy wouldn't work for the film that would have been a sequel to Django Unchained. That film? The Hateful 8.
Anti-Climax Boss: Calvin, who is simply shot in the chest by Schultz, without seeing it coming.
Stephen also, he had only a few henchmen who are easily dispatched, and Stephen himself was unarmed. Stephen is then kneecapped and left to die with some dynamite.
Designated Hero: Some people (case in point) felt that Django was kind of a dick who permitted or committed all sorts of terrible deeds because he thought seeing his wife was more important than all the murder, torture and slavery in the movie. Not that he could do anything to stop them. Even the rescue of his wife needed stealth.
Ending Fatigue: The shoot-out at Candyland during which Schultz, Candy and most of his henchmen are killed seems like the climax. But then Stephen hangs Django upside down for torture, Django has to talk some Australians into helping him back to Candyland and then finally shoot out all the remaining characters and rescue his wife. This is after things have already gone on for two and a half hours. Word of God has said that the Candyland shoot-out was the original ending but it looked too formuliac, hence his decision to add a bit more.
Ensemble Dark Horse: One of Candie's henchmen is a woman in men's clothes wearing a mask, who gets a long closeup shot late in the movie... but never does anything remotely important. The original script had her as a Chekhov's Gunman who played a big role in the climax, but her role had to be cut for time.
Foe Yay: Django and Billy Crash. None of Candie's henchmen like Django, but Billy is the one that picks fights with him. Django in turn likes mocking him. Their arguing also has a reference to "walking in the moonlight" and has the line "You wanna hold my hand?" Then there's the fact that Billy seems to be rather enjoying himself when he's about to castrate the naked, Bound and Gagged Django and has his hands on his genitals.
Django mentions that being a slaver is the lowest a black man can sink, even lower than the "head house nigger, and that's pretty fucking low." In Real Life, house slaves enjoyed a much higher standard of living than the field slaves, earning them a lot of resentment from the rest of the slaves. Stephen, as a villainous head house slave, is basically a stereotype from a 19th century field slave's point of view. In addition, Freedmen were viewed with contempt from whites, but black slaves also showed contempt, as exemplified by Stephen.
During the scene in which Schultz buys Broomhilda, Lara plays Beethoven on the harp. There is a somewhat controversial theory that Beethoven was part black. Beethoven was also an admirer of the French Revolution's ideals of freedom, equality and fraternity, put music to Schiller's ode to universal brotherhood ("Ode to Joy") in his Ninth Symphony and penned an opera, Fidelio, which is about a loyal wife rescuing her husband from the chains of captivity. It is almost a motif that the Candies are fans of European authors and composers that would loathe them if they met face to face.
What are two Australians doing in the middle of the Deep South? Well, remember that they work for a mining company, and the US experienced its first immigrants from Australia in the early 1850s as miners trying to strike it rich in the California Gold Rush. Presumably these two are former Gold Rush miners who decided to move on to other mining opportunities in the US. The Australians being racist also isn't a stretch - violence and racism against aboriginals in the same time period was virulent.
Schultz tells the freed slaves in the intro to follow the north star. The star was heavily used by the Underground Railroad to lead escaping slaves to Canada.
In Candie's "Obedience Skull" scene he cites an actual 19th-century science, Phrenology, which continued to be respectable and popular until the early-mid 20th century (when its massive internal contradictions finally became apparent and it was derided as a 'pseudoscience'). Before and after the US civil War, Phrenology really was used to justify the enslavement and contempt of Africans in the USA.
Django's blue outfit is modeled after Thomas Gainsborough's famous painting The Blue Boy.
Ho Yay: Django and Schultz. It hasn't gone unnoticed by tumblr. Curiously enough, Schultz telling Django about Siegfried and Brünhilde is fairly reminiscent of Bill telling Beatrix the legend of Pai Mei and the Monks.
On the Foe Yay side of things, there's Calvin's creepy obsession with Django.
Idiot Plot: The entire second half of the film is predicated on the idea that Schultz believes Candie won't just sell him a slave, if he offers way more than she's worth. This is justified, however, as Schultz's flaw is his Complexity Addiction.
It is unknown when Calvin Candie crosses it, but one of his cruelest deeds in the picture is ordering the Mandingo slave D'Artagnan to be ripped apart by dogs, just in case you haven't already pegged him as irredeemable from his Establishing Character Moment, during the Mandigo fights, even before his face is shown. That said, he certainly crossed it by the time he insisted that Schultz shake his hand after forcing him to buy Broomhilda for $12,000, which compared to all his other actions comes across as minor but is more or less the tip of the iceberg; he had forced Schultz to go through with the transaction on pain of her death, and he should've just considered it complete once everything has been signed and the money transferred considering that Schultz is so disgusted with his treatment of his slaves (including the aforementioned Mandingo slave) that he actually refused to bid him "auf Wiedersehen" (which in German means "until we meet again") upon parting ways with him. Normally, sticking to tradition wouldn't constitute a puppy-punting incident, let alone a MEH, but Candie tried to force it on a buyer who clearly wanted nothing more to do with him. No wonder Schultz "couldn't resist" popping him off while pretending to shake his hand, since it was just the straw that broke the camel's back and he passionately hated him long before that.
All the trackers Jake, Lex, Stu, Cheney, Catfish and Peg who kept the dogs well-fed and played poker with their victims' ears are without a doubt ireedemable.
Billy Crash crosses it by nearly burning Django's genitalia off (but for the intervention of Stephen) - that is, if he had any chance of redemption to begin with.
Stephen's actions - thwarting Django's reunion with his wife out of spite and then devising the cruelest possible death for him -constitutes a crossing. This last one was also courtesy of Lara Lee who followed through the crossing.
Big Daddy is the leader of a precursor of the Ku Klux Klan who attempted to lynch Django and Schultz for killing the Brittle brothers. They crossed it themselves (especialy Big John) when they whipped and branded Django and Brunhilda.
All of Schultz's targets have done something to earn a place here. Bill Sharp was a rustler who tried to shoot him and the Speck brothers were killers who tried to murder Schultz and were mean enough to slaves that the slaves murdered them at first chance.
Curtis Carrucan caused everything by selling Django and Broomhilda seperately to split them up.
Padding: At almost three hours in running time, the film is certainly not in any hurry. Some sequences stick out:
The scene with the proto-Klan, once they establish that they are going after Schultz and Django, turns into a discussion about the impracticality of the hoods.
Schultz pours two glasses of beer, and we see every mechanical process required in that action.
Candie takes two plates of white cake and walks all the way across the room to meet Schultz.
The writing up of Broomhilda's bill of sale could be seen as this or as a necessarily long scene to draw out the characters and audience's tension.
Bruce Dern as Django's terrifying original owner, Old Man Carrucan.
Jonah Hill as a member of the ineffectual Regulator group which argues about their impractical hoods.
The original Django himself, Franco Nero, as Mandingo owner Amerigo Vessepi.
OT3: Going by the number of fanfictions for the film, it's easy to see Broomhilda/Django/Schultz as this.
"Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Upon its release, the film received a good deal of attention for its brutal and unflinching depiction of slavery that hadn't been seen in quite some time. Just one year later it had its thunder irrevocably stolen on that point by 12 Years a Slave. Naturally, it has to do with 12 Years a Slave being a realistic take on the subject on basis of it being real life, while Django is... typical Tarantino.
One of Candie's trackers is a mysterious, unnamed figure who wears masculine clothes and a mask but who is quite obviously female. Late in the film she gets a lingering close up quietly staring at a stereostopic photo, implying she is about to enter the plot in a big way. Seconds later she is unceremoniously shot dead along with the rest of the goons. She was originally planned to have a bigger role, but that was cut out due to scheduling difficulties. It would be revealed that she wore the mask to hide the fact that half her lower jaw had been blown away.
Broomhilda, Django's wife, barely had any characterization outside of being a MacGuffin Girl makes it hard for the audience to sympathize and care about her situation. Not to mention she is played by Kerry Washington. The fact that a lot of the above Padding scene could have been replaced by a flashback to flesh out her character just made the entire thing more frustrating.
One of the Le Quint Dickey guards sports a well-worn Confederate cavalryman's képi...in 1859? What?
Played in-universe. As a costume for his decoy valet character, Django decides to wear a very bright blue suit with breeches and square-buckled shoes, modeled after Thomas Gainsborough's The Blue Boy. Even the slaves think it's stupid: "You mean you wanted to dress like that?!"