@2020 Parker's Publishing
“White people love making people sex slaves and shit.”
Broaden that statement beyond sex and this one-liner summarizes the entire movie.
Get Out, a movie by first time director, funnyman Jordan Peele, is anything but just funny as it pushes the envelope on racial tension. I mean really pushes it. In fact, I’m pretty sure that the envelope fell off of the entire table. If the first five minutes doesn’t have you slightly sinking with discomfort into your seat then I don’t know what will.
Peele begins the film with an intense but brief scene immersed in musical jump-cues usually reserved for 1980’s stabbing horrors by openly invoking the death of Trayvon Martin (as stated repeatedly in more than one interview), a black 17-year old killed in a gated community by a man who assumed he was a criminal because of his skin color.
As the movie progresses, the racial tension thickens and micro-aggressions become as common as the strange behavior of the characters. (If you’re black, you may find yourself occasionally looking around the theater to see the reactions of your white counterparts).
Without giving much of the movie away, Get Out touches on a lot of psychological issues and important social lessons that can be easily missed if you focus too much on the racial aspect of it. For starters, the reoccurring themes of weak social ties vs. strong social ties and action vs. inaction are blatantly overshadowed. There is a part in the movie where a young black man goes missing and instead of active searches for him, all that is mentioned are missing person posts and photos on social media. Almost immediately after the display of the posts, a joke is fired off by Rod, Chris’ black, comic-relief, TSA-employed best friend, side-railing any chance of the audience fixating on why people (especially his family) weren’t physically looking for him. (Sidebar: I’m pretty sure recruitment for TSA is going to increase after this movie. They made that job look awesome. Marketing done right. *thumbs up*)
As far as some of the psychological issues, if the main character, Chris Washington (played by Daniel Kaluuya who is most noted for his role in the Black Mirror episode “Fifteen Million Merits”) had previously dealt with his past emotional demons then he may have not been in a relationship with sociopathic-eyes, Rose in the first place. Chris’ sense of self-responsibility or lack thereof was lightly touched on during a scene where Rose, his girlfriend of only 4-months questions him about the efficiency of his packing then later stands up for him after having his license requested by a cop (He only had a state id. Why would you go on a road trip with someone you barely know and only have a state id? He might as well have given her a card with the words “here is all of the responsibility for my safety” scribbled on the inside and called it a day).
During one of the conversations between Chris and Rod, they poke fun at the avoidance of therapists, shrinks and hypnotherapists by Black people, further tugging at the lack of concern by many for professional mental health help.
(Sidebar: Actually, if all of the characters took mental health seriously and handled their insecurities…...there would be no movie…..so never mind).
Once the Armitage family turns sinister, it becomes a bit apparent that their motives aren’t necessarily based solely on race, despite how it appears.
Overall, Get Out is worth going to see. Depending on your own personal feelings, it has the potential to either spark an amazing dialogue or validate a tightly held prejudice.
Either way, it’s entertaining!