Get Out written and directed by Jordan Peele (Universal Pictures, Blumhouse Productions, QC Entertainment, R, 104 min)
Starring Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landry Jones, Marcus Henderson, Betty Gabriel, Lakeith Stanfield, Stephen Root, and LilRel Howery.
I can’t begin to try and understand the lived experience of the marginalized in society. While I appreciate and revere the contributions of the movement’s heavyweights—from Martin Luther King, Jr. and James Cone to Ralph Ellison and Ava DuVernay. The contributions to ethics, theology, and the arts are monumental. But I recognize my place as an observer. I’ll never truly know. I hope, only, that I can do my best to educate myself, raise awareness toward injustice, and be in ally in any way I can.
That said, Jordan Peele’s Get Out, feels suffocating in its hyper focused take on the lived experience of African Americans. Jokingly—or maybe not?—Peele has described the genre of Get Out as a documentary. And watching the suspenseful and twisted plot and characters, I can halfway see Peele’s point.
Details on the Weekend Getaway
Get Out begins with Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) packing his bags for a weekend getaway with his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams).
Peele frames this narrative within the standard social awkwardness of an interracial couple visiting the suburban and affluent white parents.
Upon arrival, Chris meets Dean (Bradley Whitford), Rose’s dad and Missy (Cahterine Keener), Rose’s mom. Jovial and warm, the introductions go about as well as expected, with Dean even doing his best to calm any racial tension. He would’ve voted for Obama for a third term after all.
But the longer Chris stays in this secluded neighborhood and the more oddball neighbors he meets, the more he feels something is afoot.
Even more, the only African Americans in this community act entirely strange and these interactions lead to the increasing unease of Chris.
Wrenching the Gut
While painted for most of act one and act two as the protagonist’s paranoia amongst affluent white people who often don’t spend much time with black people, act three pulls some truly gut-wrenching punches.
Ultimately, Peele pulls the African American experience into a horror- and suspense-filled metaphor with artful and politically resonant results. I know I’ll never truly understand the struggle, but Get Out does an excellent job of visualizing and metaphorizing this experience in a digestible way.
Verdict: 5 out of 5