The acid test for a white audience is when black brothers and sisters are loudly and vocally into approving the revenge. Can they join in without feeling threatened?
I see your main point though. But I tend to think a director as an artist is not completely absorbed in the politics of each choice. Creativity is fluid and circumstantial, there are cameras to be placed here or there, a method of violence to be chosen, a lot of factors. I’d be interested in Peele’s reaction to your analysis. One scene that supports your thesis is at the end: like a classic movie hero, Chris refrains from killing his girl friend, rising above his hatred, finally “going high when they go low.”
However, correct me on this: when Rose (the girlfriend) is blown away, isn’t it after Chris’ camera has flashed, reawakening the black man within the grandfather, who then kills her? That was my impression. That would be a brother doing a white girl, right?
I also thought the denouement was plot-wise a bit weak. How did Chris’ buddy get the police to cooperate? And how, seeing a black man bloodied and perched over a dead white girl, does the cop not leap from the car screaming and ready to blow Chris away, TCP agent or not? My guess was Chris was a goner at that point.
Finally, I guess everyone knows this, but central to the bizarre imagery of the film was how perfectly Daniel Kaluuya’s facial characteristics evoke the white stereotype of the black slave. Bug-eyed in hallucinatory terror, padding softly though the scenes in his jet-black complexion, his endless deference to white insults and micr0-agressions - there is an upsidedown-ness to him that is so effective and disturbing.
Great movie, still with me after a week.
And I DON’T watch horror films.