Get Out is a 2017 horror film written and directed by Jordan Peele. It stars Daniel Kaluuya, Alison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, Caleb Landry Jones, Stephen Root and Lil Rey Howery. The film follows a weekend in the life of a black man visiting his white girlfriend’s parents.
Alright look, there is a simple reason as to why I like this film. Being a person of Indian descent, I was subject to a few cliched lines by, for the lack of a better word, caucasian (and sometimes other races of people, including my own who weren’t born or brought up in India) people would say to me. Example, “Wow! You guys make great curry” or “Wow! You guys have so much culture”. I know they are not trying to be offensive, quite the contrary. They are trying to share what limited knowledge they have about a new culture to seem traveled and to make me feel included. I both like it and find it cringeworthy. It’s a fun little window into someone’s nice side while one also gets to see their slightly racist tendencies as they try to group a whole set of people into a singular, easily digestible box.
I’m not above it, I do that with folks from other walks of life too.
I made a conscious effort to hold back on any and all spoilers and reviews until I watched the film for myself. I was all the better for it. The film revels in playing on your expectations and has a whole lot of fun showing you little trinkets that coalesce so well to the final work. A different take of my personal note from the paragraph 2 makes its way into the film and it just amuses me as to how well it is executed.
I have a shade of disagreement with any person who could say that it follows the construct of racism against black folk religiously and doesn’t do much else. It is actually a cut above that as it explores prejudice and racist tendencies amongst people from all walks of life. Before anyone gets triggered by my statement, Yes, racism against minorities is a huge problem in the modern world and I’ve experienced it myself in a few instances.
I see this film as a perfect companion piece to Do The Right Thing. The latter deals with racist undercurrents in a small neighborhood with people of all races coexisting with each other while harboring feelings of animosity towards the men and women they encounter on a daily basis. This film feels oddly similar because of how connected yet isolated the lead character feels. Even though the film does not pronounce it loudly, Daniel Kaluuya’s Chris walks in with preconceived notions of his own. None of us are safe from our own prejudiced view of the world and there can be no whole truth because of the way bias works. A person of color has his/her view of a caucasian and vice versa. It is not to say all of us behave in a manner that matches that narrow-minded cliche but we are viewed through that prism during our initial exchanges.
My dime store philosophy aside, this is a greatly rewarding film for any viewer. The layering of comedy and horror is fantastic. The subtlety in character motivations is incredibly well executed. God damn Catherine Keener is in this movie and I never thought she’d be in something good after Adaptation. I want to see Bradley Whitford in every horror movie because of what he brings to the table. Such a memorable character actor. The direction is so assured, some of the scenes are delightfully tense and zany. Daniel Kaluuya succeeds in blowing my mind for a second time (still remember him from Black Mirror). That dude who makes me die laughing in Atlanta is in this too and he just kills it all over again. So much good stuff.
That rambling about race relations was a clever coverup to avoid spoiling any part of the film to any of the readers if you didn’t guess it already. Again, don’t be alarmed, the film is much more subtle and much less redundant than I am. Be a good fan of great art and please refrain from spoiling the film and all the clues you picked up along the way.
Multiple rewatches recommended. Intelligence good. Me likey.