Checking Your Privilege in “Get Out” – a Realistic Approach to Racism.

Written by Talha Javaid

 

Spoiler alert: Article discusses the plot of the movie.

This movie serves as a directorial debut for Jordan Peele – who up till now was the half of Key and Peele working solely on Comedy genre. Get Out seemed to be another cliché from its trailer but looks can be deceptive. Generation Z explores why Get Out works in showing why racism is really terrifying.

This movie is a refreshing thriller amongst being a horror with comedic scenes that lighten the dark narrative of the movie and it’s timing is well thought out with what is currently happening in America with Trump’s presidency. The movie showcases what it means to be black in America in an intense way. I went into this thinking; it would follow the cliché of most of the horror films but they broke the first cliché as it was by making a black guy the main character of the film.

Short note version: The movie follows a young talented black photographer Chris played by British actor Daniel Kaluuya who goes to meet his white girlfriend’s parents for the first time, with reservations against the idea as he worries that the family might already be racist. Of course as soon as he arrives to her parents’ home, he discovers that the seemingly liberal family has numerous number of black servants, already adding the element of slavery to the movie, an element which leaves you hooked. The servants are as though robots, controlled, manipulated by an unknown entity.

If this isn’t weird, Chris is startled by the large amount of white visitors to the house who gawk over Chris’s frame and genetic make-up, making various racially charged and fetishizing comments. To quote which left me gobsmacked: “Black is in in Fashion!”

Chris’s fears are further realised as the family are discovered to not just be racist but to be pathological ‘negrophiles’ who somehow have developed an insane and horrific system of kidnapping, mind controlling and then finally brain swapping black people, to use them in any way and shape for example, pets, sex slaves or body substitutes, mind-blowing right?

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The scene which really left me angry was when Rose’s hypnotherapist mother mesmerises the black male into thinking he’s at the bottom of a pit trapped, all the while he tries to figure out how to get out, he is being auctioned off by her father to a blind art critic, who just want to see the world through Chris’s eyes – talk about taking body snatching to a whole new level.

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We won’t spoil the ending but rest assured that it was satisfying, normally in movies such as this “the black guy or character is killed off first” or is killed before the film reaches its climax, but the movie brilliantly executes the ending in a way which leaves you pleased that you went to the cinema to view it.

Reviews regarding the films are mixed, as many describe the film as a satire on white liberal elitism, one that asks (white) viewers to “check their privilege”. But maybe these audiences are reading it from just such a privileged perspective which repeats the process of the dynamics parodied in the film. Thus invalidating black experience and neglecting the fact that the film may not be about the experience of whiteness, nor created specifically for the edification of white audiences.

Of course this is just a simple piece of the bigger picture, one that the movie’s director is trying to paint.

In a way he’s trying to get the world to open their eyes and see that things may have changed but some people still latch onto past perspectives.

It’s a beautiful racial horror film which embodies the fears of black race and displays them in a way which we can learn from especially now with Trump’s terrifying America.

We give Get Out 8 out of 10 purely because of its solid storytelling, the message behind the narrative of the movie and the brilliant acting by Daniel Kaluuya, definitely worth the money to go see it on the big screen.

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