by Laura Haspeslagh
Jordan Peele directed his first film “Get Out,” and it was genius. From the script down to the cast, it was well thought out.
It’s an indulging thriller at the surface, and a representation of racial tension in the United States at the root. Every scene has a form of a deeper message in which it addresses an array of issues from appropriation, to subtle racism, to our history of slavery that’s never going to be shaken off. It’s a jab at the underlying racism that goes on every day.
Peele is successful in making viewers feel uncomfortable throughout the movie. The film opens with an African-American man roaming the streets looking for a house, when he’s abducted by a man who emerges from a suspicious white car.
Then there’s Rose, the protagonist’s girlfriend, who is meant to appear trustworthy, yet she seems uneasy. There’s something about her that makes viewers shift a little in their seats, even though she stands up against the cop in Chris’ defense. When she hits a deer on their way to her parent’s house, she doesn’t appear to show much remorse, while Chris is clearly distressed by it (for reasons beyond just hitting a deer as we find out later). She has a naivety about her that feels like it can’t be trusted.
When Chris finally arrives to the house and meets Rose’s parents, the tension is felt amongst them, but there’s not enough to justify why. Even though she warned him that her father would say “I would have voted for Obama a third time if I could have,” it appears as though he is immediately trying to convince Chris that he’s not racist.
As the film progresses, the uncomfortable scenarios intensify. The subtle racism develops into blatant racist remarks from Rose’s family, while the house staff keeps getting weirder. Peele’s prospective of being African American in the United States is exaggerated for the sake of horror, but it’s also meant to be a projection of actual experiences that people go through. White people aren’t literally going around hypnotizing African-American men into deep voids, but there are real circumstances linked within the subtext of the film.
Subtext aside, the film is still a successful thriller. Films in that genre don’t usually end well because there’s often too much to resolve in a short period of time.
However, “Get Out” has viewers rooting for Chris through it all. Not to mention Chris’s TSA friend, Rod, providing the comedic relief we love and need. “Get Out” will have viewers leaving the theater thinking of all the connections and metaphors Peele strategically placed throughout the film for days afterwards.