There’s something to be said about watching and analyzing a movie years after its theatrical release. You’re not in a rush to type out your blog, or post, or what have you. You can just kick back, relax, and know you’re impervious to the pressures of posting punctually for views (and deeeeeelicious ad rev!!!)
Jordan Peele’s Get Out was released in 2017, 3 years prior to the time of this writing. Peele is known as a comedian on Comedy Central’s Key and Peele. So what business does a comedian have with making dark, psychological thrillers? You DARE transcend your creative boundaries???? Stay in comedy, fool!
Hey. Remember when Bryan Cranston took on the project called Breaking Bad in 2008? I mean, the goofy dad in Malcolm in the Middle playing a drug lord? Stay in your lane, bitch!
And look what happened. Cranston won three Emmys for playing Walter White over the course of 5 seasons. THREE EMMYS.
The point is, when an artist breaks into new territory, when an entertainer makes a new foray into something…that should be commended. It means that maybe, just maybe, they have a much wider skill set than we initially thought. Truth be told, I don’t follow Peele that much. His brand of comedy was never for me. Last I heard, he was doing the Twilight Zone reboot or something.
And I welcome it.
Anyway, back to Get Out. The plot revolves around a twenty-something black man in a relationship with a white woman. She claims he’s the first black man she had ever dated. “Gosh, Chris! You’re so special!” Psychopaths are good at making people feel special. They build up your self-esteem to get your defenses down and exploit you later on.
So the black guy, Chris, is facing the old, twenty-something conundrum: He has to meet his girlfriend’s family AND IMPRESS THEM. But he needn’t worry, because her father “would’ve voted for Obama for a third term if he could.”
Okay, buddy. We get that you’re not a racist, but ease up on the lip service there. That’s just bordering on sycophantic.
When Chris visits the Armitages’ mansion, he notices something fishy: The black servants act and talk like they weren’t even raised in black communities. Hell, they don’t even act their age. By that I mean, they act like they’re several decades older in terms of speech patterns and vernacular.
All Chris can do is look at them,with furrowed eyebrows and say, “Right.”
It is strange to see blacks talk and act like they’re white. At least it’d be strange hearing them talk the way they did in the movie. I suppose this is Peele’s way of saying that we subconsciously expect blacks to talk and behave a certain way. He was challenging the audience’s preconceived notions.
If memory serves, this movie hasn’t been popular among the right-wing crowd. Peele is no stranger to leftist rhetoric. A lot of his comedy is based on making fun of white people (to each his own, I don’t care). Get Out doesn’t portray white people in a positive light, either.
Every white character in the film is depicted as being amoral, sychophantic, manipulative, sleazy, and just plain evil. In a nutshell, this is, for all intents and purposes, an anti-white movie.
But even if its intentions were to be a Black grievance piece, there is perhaps a message that conservatives can genuinely agree with: white sycophantic liberals are not to be trusted.
Malcolm X once said:
“White liberals are those who have perfected the art of selling themselves to the black man as our ‘friend’ to get our sympathy, our allegiance and our minds.”
That quote pretty much nails the entire plot of the movie. What was initially suspected as a case of brainwashing was actually something far more sinister (and, if I may say, hackneyed from a writer’s perspective?). The blacks in the movie weren’t being brainwashed. Rather, they were the victims of unconsented brain transplantation.
Here’s what really makes this disturbing: the blacks themselves were still alive inside their own brains. They could still see, hear, and feel everything happening around and to their own bodies. They were simply powerless to do anything about it.
Personally, I would’ve stayed with the brainwashing/hypnosis bit. But the brain transplant twist does make for a more eerie and unsettling climax.
Now, back to white liberals. The entire family get-together scene with the white families was, without the doubt, the most off-putting in an aesthetic sense. The whites were presented as facile and dishonest. They were actually going out of their way to prove they weren’t racist to the main character. “Man, I love golf! Did you know that Tiger Woods is my favorite of all time????” *wink wink*
“Black fashion is IN!” *wink wink*
“Obama! THIRRRRRRD TERRRRRRRRM!!!!!” *wink*
As the movie shows, the white families’ pandering to blacks was a ruse to get their guard down and exploit them for their physique and social confidence. To snatch them when they least suspect it and transplant their own minds into theirs.
To complete the Malcolm X quote from above:
“The white liberal attempts to use us politically against white conservatives, so that anything the black man does is never for his own good, never for his advancement, never for his own progress, he’s only a pawn in the hands of the white liberal.“
Needless to say, white conservatives are not ones to point out one’s race in order to placate a person-of-color. Especially not in the first conversation they have with said person-of-color. According to white conservatives, it’s because they don’t care about one’s race (which is, of course, respectable). According to white liberals, it’s actually because they hate different races.
I mean, if you’re TRULY not a racist…then you wouldn’t need to prove it, would you? Just talk to the POC as you would talk to anyone else. That is the whole point of equality, right? No need to make the conversation difficult or awkward.
As the movie (and life in general) would show us: submitting to a smiling face and doting voice is far more dangerous than talking to someone who isn’t trying to appease you.
Get Out won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. At first, I was flummoxed as to how a thriller with a somewhat schmaltzy/unrealistic depiction of race relations could win. After seeing the movie in its entirety, it’s clear to me now. Best Screenplay Oscars aren’t necesarily about dialogue as one might assume. Rather, it’s about the themes the film presents, how it incorporates them to tell the story, and how people of different persuasions may interpret the piece.
And I have to say, Jordan Peele (aka Mr. Liberal) did a remarkable job with that. Whatever your intentions were, sir…bravo! 😀 👌