If you haven’t seen the new film, Get Out, I’m certain you’ve heard about it by now. This out-of-the-box thriller surely left audiences with lots to discuss. Before I continue, I will give a much needed spoiler alert, so if you have not seen the movie…GET OUT (pun intended)!
Alright, let’s get to it. It’s taken me a couple of weeks to gather my thoughts because there was A LOT to process. There were moments when I laughed so hard, scenes when I jumped because of the suspense, and also moments when my jaw was on the floor. Get Out‘s director, Jordan Peele, pushed the envelope and as crazy as it seems, his depiction of race relations in this country was strikingly real.
The movie was a great depiction of how blacks are often perceived by other races…specifically, the white race. I didn’t walk away thinking that white people were the devil or that blacks shouldn’t date whites, but I did walk away thinking that Get Out was one of the first films I’ve seen that correctly shed light on what blacks sometimes experience. Yes, the movie was an extreme depiction because I have faith that society would never get to the point where white people would literally hypnotize black people into a modern-day form of slavery. However, the film does address the actual existence of racism and the admittance of historical slavery, through very deliberate references and strong symbolism.
The two main characters, Chris Washington (played by Daniel Kaluuya) and Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) are the epicenter of what most believed was a genuine, interracial love story. Of course, by the end of the film, we realize that she was one of the main manipulators that targeted young, successful, athletic, talented, black men and (and a woman) that she eventually brought home to her family. The twist? They never left. They were kidnapped, held hostage, hypnotized, and essentially auctioned off to the highest bidder (the bidders were white and one Asian…if you’re interested in learning about the importance of the Asian representation check this out). All of the bidders had a vested interest and ultimately believed that blacks naturally had an advantage over the rest of society since they were faster, more talented, could jump higher, had bigger penises (yes, they addressed this in the film), etc.
Although it is hard to fathom something this extreme, there’s a realistic aspect to all of it. There are many who believe the stereotypes listed above. Let’s be real…when we saw Rose’s father speaking with Chris about how he’d vote for Obama a third term if he could, then ending every conversation with the phrase, ‘my man’, there’s a relateable feeling during their scenes together. This forceful exchange happens to black people all the time!
For every laughable moment (Rose eating the Fruit Loops separate from the milk, as to not mix the colorful cereal with the white milk, as she perused the internet for top NCAA basketball prospects for her next victim), there was also a harsh familiarity that I wish didn’t exist. One of the final scenes showed Rose near death and Chris on top of her debating on whether to kill the woman who tricked him, as a police car with flashing lights pulled up. She immediately played the victim and was going to convince the police officer that she somehow was being harmed by this black man who was on top of her. Many in the theater laughed, but how many times do we see or hear of black men being framed by the ‘innocent’ white girl? Too often.
So, should the film scare black men enough to the point where they don’t want to date a white woman? No. The film actually wasn’t FOR blacks to walk away with a warped sense of white people. The film was actually FOR those that are purposefully oblivious to what really happens in this world, to an entire race of people, on a regular basis.
The infamous cookout scene was funny, but more importantly, it was a chance to get a quick, spit fire version of what some either think of or say out loud to black people. We saw a woman interested in knowing how big Chris’ penis was (because all black men have a large penis, right?), there was a blind man that wanted Chris’ eyes because he had a knack for photography (because we’re so talented at everything we do, right?), there was an older man that wanted to know if Chris could play golf, while making it a point to mention that he was a fan of Tiger Woods (because all of us are great athletes, duh). All of these mini cookout conversations should open the eyes of the masses as to how REAL racism and prejudices are.
Overall, I can appreciate the risk that Jordan Peele took in this film. I was silently screaming to myself, finally, someone is saying what many of us already know and think!!! On a final note, I thank Mr. Peele for allowing cotton to be the ultimate savior for Chris (he stuffed his ears with cotton so that he could no longer be hypnotized).
If you haven’t seen Get Out, you should make your way to a theater. Here’s a trailer in case you’re interested in a sneak peek!