'Get Out' Shouts What Everyone Else Whispers

Hello, racism my old friend. The bully on the playground of equal opportunity. The monster under my bed. The demon in the streets. The source of occasional self-hatred. The whisper in the back of my head I occasionally hear when on job interviews, or searching for potential lovers. Race can make you feel like you’re automatically not good enough. Everyone has these preconceived notions about you (or so you think) and you cannot always vocalize them because it seems like you are reading in between lines that do not exist. It is psychologically exhausting and an eternal, internal debate.

Ever since I saw Get Out with my mom and my sister, we have been geeking out about it. We didn’t know movies could be so entertaining and still resonate with the deepest, darkest, and sometimes seemingly ludicrous fear that sits in the stomachs of black people. Below, I have assembled one of two things: a reference sheet for anyone who has seen the movie and wants to better understand the intricacies of the story or a cheat sheet for anyone who has yet to see the movie.

Director Jordan Peele describes his film as a “social thriller” and Get Out, his directorial debut, is just that. The film is about a black man, Chris Washington, who goes to suburbia to meet his white girlfriend, Rose Armitage’s family. Immediately, he realizes something is amiss but cannot put his finger on it. The only other black people he interacts with are the hired help of the Armitage family and while he is suspicious, Rose tells him there is nothing to be worried about. She seems “woke,” but will his suspicions be confirmed or denied by the end of the movie?

SPOILER ALERT: I will try not to spoil too much.

Here are some things to think about when watching the film. 

The Single Asian Person in Get Out

In an Op-Ed by Ranier Maningding titled, Why ‘Get Out’, a Movie About Anti-Black Racism, Had an Asian Character, he tackles the single Asian character that appears in the film. In the movie, this man asks Chris, “What’s it like to be black in America?” Chris is confused by the question and unable to answer. You see, this man sees himself as equal to white people (sociologically, Asians did have more resources when they entered twenty-first century America as immigrants.) However, during the “bingo game” scene, the Asian man does not get to make a bid; only the white people can. He is excluded from the club and seen as “other.”

Why This Movie Had to be Horror

Jordan Peele adored Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, and Stepford Wives. In an interview with Terri Gross on her NPR show Fresh Air, Jordan Peele discusses why Get Out had to be a horror film and why this genre was perfect for what he was trying to achieve. “There is a universal aspect of the fear of meeting your potential in-laws for the first time,” said Peele.

Relevance in Trump’s America

In this interview, Peele compares how this movie would be received during the Obama administration compared to the current political climate. He dissects the score and where the falling through vacuum scenes were filmed.

The Craft of the Story

Jordan Peele was working on the screenplay before he dated or married his wife, Chelsea Peretti from Brooklyn Nine-Nine. His prior dating experiences, the revolutionary film Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner starring Sidney Portier, and the fact that Peele himself has a white mother and a black father all contribute to the thought behind the story.

Symbolism You Might Have Missed

This Buzzfeed article picks up on things that Jordan Peele may have done unintentionally, such as having Rose eat fruit loops in a bowl while intermittently sipping milk with a black straw. However, there were purposeful and impactful decisions made by Peele, such as having Rose’s father talk about bucks when he is actually talking about how he feels about black people.  

When this movie becomes available on DVD, I will revisit it, discover my own theories, and continue to uncover the genius of Jordan Peele. Until then, I will relive the movie through various articles and GIFs.

In the end, everyone should see this movie to learn about a different facet of what it’s like to be an American.

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