“Get Out” Keeps You Looking In
This blockbuster film is powerful in more ways than one
By Jordan Daniels Opinions Editor
“Get Out” is a movie that is extremely layered in terms of social commentary. It requires several viewings to fully grasp what the film is saying about racism in this “post-racial” world.
From the beginning, Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is weary of visiting his girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) family. His caution stems from the fact that he is black and she is white, setting up the premise that movie will be tackling themes of racism, though not in the way we’d expect.
On the surface, it is a thrilling ride that makes you scared of suburbia and at the thought of meeting your partner’s family, while also making you realize that maybe meeting your partner’s family may not be so bad in comparison.
Visually, the film is very nature-based, not using extreme colors or vibrancy to impress the audience. Additionally, the setting of most of the movie is in Rose’s family house, which is large, with probably acres of land, further shifting the focus from external properties to focus on content and form. Much of the film itself is focused on the script, sacrificing some cinematography for subject matter.
Cinematically, however, the film is still beautiful in the aesthetics of the home, the land and the people. The family’s house is very traditional, giving old American vibes, although it feels a bit plantation-esque, especially upon the entrance of the estate. Chris’ apartment is really clean and organized as well, giving the impression that clean aesthetics, or more importantly, images, matter to both Chris and Rose’s family.
In terms of discord, the film does an excellent job letting it take the physical form of Rose’s brother, Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones), the metaphorical Loki who puts the first crack in this seemingly pristine picture of Rose’s family. Once Jeremy is in the picture, everything goes downhill for Chris: He’s hypnotized into the “sunken place,” a plane of spiritual emptiness, put on display by Rose’s family and their friends, dehumanized into a commodity in some moments and is the receiver of subtle micro-aggressions in others. The placement of discord into his character extrapolates into the rest of the film, creating a series of events that you can’t help but watch play out on-screen.
In terms of acting, the standouts would be both Daniel and Allison, their chemistry is evident, even though much of it is a ploy. Their ability to switch emotions in split-seconds, cry believably and show vulnerabilities is what makes part of the film so great. Allison, especially, has probably one of the best moments in the film while looking for her keys — a moment that absolutely stuns much of the audience.
Overall, “Get Out,” is a film that places heavy focus on acting itself, which is not easy to accomplish, in an era where effects and cinematography saturate our vision.
However, it accomplishes it in a way that is equally terrifying as it is thought-provoking.