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Friday, January 12, 2018

Oscar Movie Review: Get Out

Get Out
Written and Directed By: Jordan Peele
Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, & Bradley Whitford
STARS: 3.5 out of 4

SHOULD I WATCH IT: 1000%. It's currently streaming on HBO.

Brief Description: I've seen Get Out three times and it gets more brilliant upon each new viewing. Ostensibly, the film is about Chris (Kaluuya) meeting the parents of his girlfriend Rose (Williams) for the weekend in upstate New York. However, that's just a jumping off point for the twists and turns that occur for the oddest weekend of Chris' life. You think Get Out is a standard film about a Black man meeting the parents of his White girlfriend, and then something strange will happen. Chris steps outside in the dead of night for a cigarette and finds the black gardener running straight for him, only to turn at the last moment and you realize he's just running laps in the backyard. The black maid doesn't seem quite right either. There's something a little off about her. In fact, everything about the weekend just seems a little off. The plot will eventually come together in the Third Act (and upon multiple viewings; it's definitely worth a re-watch), but you won't know what the hell is happening in the most glorious way possible until then.

Ultimately, the point of Get Out is to show the hypocrisy and racism of White Liberals in America. As Jordan Peele joked on Twitter, Get Out is a documentary. It's not just that a police officer demands to see Chris' identification after an accident, despite the fact that Rose was driving the car and Chris had nothing to do with it, it's the odd moments where Rose's father Dean, played by Whitford, tells Chris, "Obama was the best President in my lifetime, hand down. Would've voted for him for a third time if a could." Chris and Rose are struck being a part of a Garden Party hosted by Rose's parents, and Chris gets stuck in house full of old white people trying to talk to Chris like he's an alien. One older gentlemen tells Chris that he's a golfer, and blurts out right after that Tiger Woods was the best golfer he's ever seen. An older lady asks Rose, in front of Chris, if it's true that black men are more well-endowed. These old white people aren't trying to be racist, it's not like their Klan members or anything of that ilk, but they certainly are treating Chris differently because of the color of his skin.

Peele uses the horror/thriller genre as a metaphor of this racist White Liberalism. I wouldn't call the film scary, especially considering the ad campaign makes the film look like a straight-up horror, but Peele masterfully uses techniques from the genres to tell an interesting and insightful tale. There also many moments in the film where you're surprised that this is the work of only a first time director. Many lines and moments that will make sense the first time around to help you make sense of the plot, but won't come into full focus until you know that all the pieces are in place; lines and actions are really double entendres.

A lot of times, these films that need to work as both a straight, linear story, work as an allegory for society, and work a different way upon a rewatch of the film will fall short in some way, shape, or form. Often time, it'll be a great metaphor and try to make a powerful statement, but doesn't work as a piece of pure entertainment. Get Our is not one of those films. It's a perfect story for our place in American society, and a great film to stream when you're bored on a Saturday night. Basically, it's excellent, and you need to stop what you're doing and watch it immediately if you haven't seen it already.