If you have not seen the American comedy horror, “Get Out,” directed by the talented comedian, actor, and filmmaker, Jordan Peele, then you are missing out on life. You may think that I am over exaggerating, but in actuality, “Get Out” demonstrates the life that many minorities, especially black Americans, face on a day-to-day basis. Although the plot of the movie – black guy visits his white girlfriend’s family – may not pertain to everyone, I believe the message that the film conveys is extremely important and educational.
Chris Washington, played by black British actor Daniel Kaluuya, is persuaded by his white girlfriend, Rose Armitage as played by Allison Williams, to travel to Rose’s parents’ home. From the opening scene of the film, the couple makes it clear that they are in a fun and romantic relationship. Rose and Chris appear to love each other, but later on in the film, Rose makes it clear that blood is always thicker than water. Chris is skeptical about going to her parents’ house and displays his skepticism by asking Rose if her parents know that he is black. I could be wrong, but I think this question goes through every black person’s head when they want to pursue a serious relationship with someone outside of their race. Rose’s response to Chris’s question is very similar to people who would argue for a color-blind society. Rose asks, “Should I have told them that you are black?” Rose assures Chris that she would have told him if her parents were racist; she even states that her dad, were it possible, would have voted Obama in for a third term (as if that phrase is supposed to make a black person feel more comfortable around white people). Rose’s playful nature and good looks makes her easy to like; in reality, her actions and sense of ease in the face of Chris’s concerns could be taken as Rose being ignorant and indifferent towards issues that black people face.
Throughout the film, Daniel is very strong-willed, which I believe is an accurate reflection of many minorities today. Even when minorities do not want to admit it, they face great injustices regularly; however, the culture we live in leaves no time for emotional reflection. American culture has programmed us to push through all adversities; being successful is valued over reflecting and healing from the micro aggressions and discrimination minorities face throughout their lives. Within the film, Anna’s mother, Missy Armitage, was able to hypnotize Daniel by persuading him to discuss the death of his mother. The death of his mother was definitely a touchy subject, but Missy had no problem probing. Throughout the film, Daniel remains strong and level-headed. Due to his love for Anna, he allows the micro aggressions (e.g., hearing things like “blacks have a superior genetic make up”, being referred to as a beast, assuming the only black person black people in golf know is Tiger Woods, etc.) to fly over his head. However, the moment Daniel is faced with the death of his mother his weakness becomes evident. Daniel was still dealing with his mother’s death, but he was forced to face it when Missy brought it up, thus getting into Daniel’s head and placing him in a ‘sunken place’. Rachel Chappell’ 18 stated that the sunken place is “constant place of paranoia, of pain, of confusion, of disillusionment.” Because of all of the injustices that occur towards and around people of color from police brutality to blatant everyday racism, the idea of minorities living within a sunken place within their minds is very real.
Every time I watch the film, I notice some new hidden message that gets me thinking. The first time I watched it, I really took note of the ‘sunken place’ Chris was hypnotized into. The second time I watched the film, I noticed two things: the non-mixing of cereal and the very accurate acting that is portrayed within the film. In one scene of the movie, Anna is seen looking up her next black victim online, while eating Fruit Loops. She ate each Fruit Loop individually, drinking the milk from a glass in between. Everyone eats differently, but, to me, Anna’s method implied a disapproval of mixing.
I also noticed the fascination with black skin. Rose’s grandmother, who was essentially hypnotized into in the black body of the housekeeper, Georgina (played by Betty Gabriel). The way hypnotized Georgina rubbed her smooth black skin in her window reflection made the audience question is there something mentally wrong with Georgina or if she is really in love with herself. The way she was caressing her skin seemed like she was infatuated. Some friends brought up black beauty standards and how black people are stereotypically known to have smoother, younger-looking faces as compared to other races. When keeping this particular idea in mind, it seemed like Rose’s grandmother wanted to be placed in a black women’s body so that she could have the genetic qualities that black people have.
The third time I watched the film, I noticed my desire for the black guy to actually live within a horror film for once. There is a stereotype that black people are always one of the first people to die within a horror film, but “Get Out” lets the main protagonist of the film fight his way to freedom.
I urge everyone to watch this film. I have seen “Get Out” three times so far and I do not plan on stopping until I can truly enjoy the masterpiece without any reflection on hidden messages. The film was superb and if I had to rate it out of 10, I would give the film an 11; it really exceeded my expectations. I cannot wait to watch it for a 4th time. I want to give a brief shout out to Jordan Peele for becoming the first black director and writer to reach over $100 million at the box office for his film. This films demonstrates that America may finally be interested in engaging in conversations about race.