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WHO SHOULD GET THE F%$# OUT?

I watched this movie 7 days ago and I’m still dissecting its meaning,,,

Have you ever watched a film and said to yourself (or out loud), “Hollywood finally got it right.” Well that’s how I felt after leaving the theatre.

Created by ½ the duo of Key & Peele, Jordan Peele’s GET OUT is a laugh-out-loud horror/thriller that touches on pretty much every topic one would find in your average WhatsApp group chat: race, interracial dating (guess race covers that), meeting your future in-laws, lame ass white folks, and that quirky white boy at work you can’t quite make out if he’s (awkwardly) trying to be down or straight fucking with you. Or a little of both.

Premise – Boy meets girl. Boy falls for girl. Boy meets girl’s family. Shit gets weird --- FAST!

We begin the movie being introduced to its starring couple, Chris and Rose, played by British actor Daniel Kaluuya (Netflix’s “Black Mirror”) and Allison Williams (HBO’s “Girls”). As Chris packs for the suburbs to meet his girlfriend’s parents for the first time, you can see in his face he’s beginning to question if he’s making the right decision. Not because it’s too soon in the relationship to meet Rose’s family and visit where she grew up, but because he knows he’s probably in for a weekend of having to ignore that uncomfortable feeling you get when around older white people who infrequently socialize with black folk. And the tiresome task of making them not feel racist about being, well, racist. I’m sorry but if you’ve managed to go your entire life without having an interpersonal relationship with someone from another race I think it’s safe to say you’re probably a racist. [Note to editor: you can omit “probably”.]

But Rose swears that her parents are normal and far from racist. She even jokes that her father may try to bond by bringing up the point that he would have voted for Obama 3 times if he could have.

Of course, with every horror flick you have the quintessential best friend to persistently warn the other characters of their pending demise. The one to add a different narrative throughout the movie. Always warning the main character(s) and audience that shit can and will go down. S/he warns that the lake cabin you and your friends are staying in for the week was once the crime scene to a gruesome murder and they haven’t found the killer; or that a nearby graveyard was recently declared haunted; or that your white girl friend’s parents are crazy and you shouldn’t spend a weekend with their white asses in the deserted woods. What makes this movie hilarious is the constant comedic warnings his best friend, Rod, offers throughout the film. Stand-up comedian, Lil Rel Howery, breathes life to this character by basically making sure through the entire movie, in just about every scene he’s in, that Chris is substantially warned to NEVER TRUST WHITE PEOPLE.

However, upon meeting Rose’s parents you’ll find them to be quite normal. Her mother, Missy (Catherine Keener), is a psychologist who managed to help her husband, Dean (Bradley Whitford), to quit smoking through hypnotism. And Dean charms Chris by pulling out the red carpet to make sure Rose’s boyfriend feels right at home …

… but shit is weird.

It’s been less than 24 hours before Chris starts questioning his surroundings: Why is the black landkeeper so withdrawn? Why is the black housekeeper acting like her “function” button was placed on its default factory setting. Why is the entire household staff black? You can imagine how relieved Chris is to finally meet another black person who isn’t a servant. My favorite newcomer, Nigerian-American actor, Keith Stanfield (FX’s “Atlanta”), appears at one of Missy and Dean’s parties as Logan. But get this – after making small talk with Logan, Chris extends his closed fist as the universal black gesture of endearment, the dap or fist bump, and Logan has no idea what he’s doing. A brother who doesn’t know how to give a dap?! This shit is weird!

When Dean suggests to Chris that he should allow Missy to hypnotize him for his smoking habit, Chris politely declines. But one night things are stranger than Chris had bargained for and he finds himself sunken into Missy’s sofa as she stirs her tea and asks him if he feels out of control since losing his mother as a child. Yep – she mind fucks him. And he’s never the same again. And let’s not forget his first meeting with Rose’s brother, Jeremy, who intensely sizes up Chris and shares with him that his physique and build is admirable, powerful and due to his genetic makeup. What the fuck? He TRIED it!

“Do you do martial arts, Chris?”  - asked Jeremy. “I personally like Jujitsu --- because it doesn’t require strength.”

With this film’s twists and turns you find yourself leaning off the edge of your seat wondering what the hell these white people are up to. But these scenes, as perfectly constructed as they were, are not the reason for my pondering thoughts.

I mean, a white person being weird isn’t new to me. But a black person being passive or complacent about it is. So what’s really odd here: that the white people are saying weird shit? It could simply be due to their infrequent relationships with black people (we covered this earlier). But how do you explain the black characters’ lifeless eyes, scripted responses and little recognition of their surroundings throughout the film?

*******

This film is definitely a must see! As I’m noticing such is the case with majority black films in recent times. I am confident without a doubt that GET OUT will be talked about, dissected, and sees several failed attempts at duplication, for years to come.

-DJ

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