Oh my gawd. Oh my gawd. Oh my gawd. *screaming* Get Out was goo-ood yah’ll. Like, real good. I was giddy for much of the night after seeing it. It was like going to a good concert and leaving sweaty and smiling from dancing in the aisle (and glowing). Even as I type this, I’m stoked. Okay okay okay let me calm down. *sips rooibos tea* Um kay.
Get Out centers Blackness. It is nuanced and thought-provoking and thought-affirming. Satire. Suspense. Metaphors. And did I say, Black? The movie is social commentary. Peele is married to a white woman and has a white mother. To be Kermit at their family gatherings after this movie dropped. Ha.
Get Out. At first I was gonna hit ya with the highlights, but I feel like giving a play-by-play, or near play-by-play, of the nuances and social commentary of the movie because I took notes while watching it, and ion’t care about the length of this review. I went to see the movie at the “dine in” AMC at Block 37 so there was a tray and the lights didn’t completely dim, making notetaking easy.
This is sooooo totally unedited
and sooooo totally off the dome.
S P O I L E R
A L E R T
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Movie opens with the walking while Black get snatch-up/disappear in a white suburb moment. (RIP Trayvon. This part acknowledges you.) Gotta remember this opening scene, cos it matters later.
Even the music was on point. The “burbs” music varied from “the city” music.
Scene switches to the city. Quickly, the white girlfriend, Rose, gets the sideeye. The most obvious question Chris, Black boyfriend, asked, “did you tell your parents I was Black…”
Black man/white womon couple going on a weekend trip to her white parent’s suburban home.
She was timely in going into that annoying, oh so familiar, colorblind uber liberal carceral feminist, I don’t see color, I just love you, babe response. That fast, the very Black audience who was in the theater with me wanted to throw tomatoes at her. In that moment I thought of Kim and Ye. Yes, that’s how annoying Rose was.
Chris, Rose’s Black boyfriend calls his friend, Rob (Lil Rel,) TSA agent. Lil Rel was the Huck character, everyone needs a Huck. (Huck from Scandal, the real ride-or-die friend.) He was soul brotha number #1 who pokes at the notion that white girls are freakier than Black girls, that must be why Chris is willing to go home with her: “What she doing, licking your balls or something?”
Then we have the being a passenger while Black moment. They’re on the rode to her parent’s house and she’s driving. She hits a deer, cops come and they both get out of the car. Cop not only asks for Rose’s id, he also asks Chris to hand over his id. Rose becomes “captain save a negro” and challenges the cop saying it was a crock of manure that he’s asking for the “passenger’s” id. What’s telling though is that Chris isn’t even phased by the officer’s response because for us, this is the routine. We are always being policed, under surveillance and ill intent is often assumed, so though it sucks, Chris knew the routine so he reached for is wallet. There is muscle memory in having to do this so often to prove our identity, our personhood, our existence…that we’re where we’re supposed to be.
Chris has all the classic Black people facial expressions throughout the movie. His silence is loud cos his face is often making the same statements, “This some bullish…,” “Here we go with this….again…,” “This bish is cray…,” or in my words, “Wait, wha, did that just come outta yo face/mouf?”
So, they get to the house and Chris meet Rose’s parents. The music of this scene and the parents moving around and being in their body all suspect like, weirded Chris out, which it is inherent for us to be “aware” when around white people. It is a matter of life and death for us. Oh and the ton of aggressions, fudge micro-aggressions, they’re just aggressions: Referring to deer as “The Deer,” like 45 says “The Blacks.” And liberal, yet more racist statements like, “such a privilege to experience another culture….,” when the dad was talmbout their travels. The father showed him around the house and a pic of Rose’s grandfather who loss a race to Jesse Owens.
Enters Georgina and Walter the soulless, zombiefied, hypnotized, Stepford Black “servants.” They act like robots, like someone stole their souls.
The liberalism continued with the dad saying, “I would have voted for Obama a 3rd term.” More side-eye, turned into laughter from me. I was amused with the very familiar tomfoolery of this neurosurgeon dad and psychologist/hypnotist parents. These statements were all too recognizable. And the father kept calling Chris, “My man…” Tha fudge? Bwahahahah. And the daughter, Rose, is just way “too woke,” she’s calling out everything that is problematic, while being dismissive of other things. Cos remember, she’s the “ride-or- die” white gf.
The very very nuanced and multiple consciousnesses that are always at play: How much do we tell them. How in, do we let them in. How cool is cool? Thing is though, I felt Chris let Rose into “Blackness,” in a way that he should not. He was engaging her like she understood “the struggle.” Like her experience of appropriation and racism were real, in a very personal way.
Rose’s brother, Jeremy, comes home and he’s looking like the junior version of a “mad scientist” and he drinks too much and “tries” Chris, while also sizing him up. More racism with questions of: “What’s your sport?” Jeremy sums up Chris, his body type. Jeremy asserts that he’d be a “beast” (animal references for Black people) in MMA. To justify colonization and slavery white people thought of us as less than human, animals. We are always being “sized up.” It’s ingrained in history. Always on the “auction block.”
Jeremy, Rose’s brother, tells an inappropriate story in front of their parents, which plays into the notion that white children are disrespectful to their parents and are allowed to do/say things that would never be permissible with Black parents. Also, Chris decides not to “play fight” with Jeremy. Rule #988273760 of being Black, neva play fight with white people cos if it gets serious, and we harm them, we’ll be the ones who go to jail.
There’s talk of the “get together.”
Everyone retires for the night and Chris, who is a smoker, wakes in the middle of the night and goes out for a smoke. Which, the mother cured the husband of smoking through hypnosis. While outside, he experiences Walter, one of the brothas who “works” for the family. Dude is running full speed towards Chris but b-lines before colliding with him.
Chris goes inside and Mrs. Armitage is in her office with a cup of tea. Not Kermit sip tea, but the teacup and stirring spoon were used as the hypnosis tool after she asked if he smoked in front of her daughter. Tha heck! She went there. Asking him about where he was when his mother died. She blames him. Oh so familiar place of victim blaming. Feeding into the problematic notion that everything that happens to Black people is our fault. Also, the adultifying of Black children. He was a CHILD. His mother’s death is not his fault, but Mrs. Armitage played on his own internalized guilt, and then instructs him to sink into the floor and go to the bottomless abyss of the “sunken place.” In the sunken place you are viewing your life through an ole skool boob tube, TV. Okay, more subliminals playing on the power of mass media being “the devil” and a tool of demise and manipulation with images and can feed self-hate. Also, the sunken place is where Black people are paralyzed, and life happens to you vs. you not having any agency or autonomy.
Next day Chris realizes something ain’t right. Okay, he has long been hyperaware. His hyperawareness throughout the movie reflects Black people’s hyperawareness, how we navigate these streets and life, because racism and other intersections are so real. But the interesting thing is when safety, and one’s safe space from these things are whiteness and a white womon…all in the name of love. Using a phrase by KeKe Palmer, “the gag.” The gag is that he really was, all in. He really loved Rose. She, was the opposite from the exceptional negro, she was the exceptionally evolved and woke person who was all he needed. *cue violin. cue the jar for white girls’ tears.*
Chris encounters the “happy negro,” Walter, outside chopping wood. Chris acknowledges how he is being worked hard and Walter responds with, “Nothing I don’t want to be doing…” Privileged and supremic (yeah I just made up a word) reasoning. The Subtext = faulty logic that Black folks enjoyed slavery, Jim Crow etc., and embrace physical labor + Black folks are superhuman with superhuman physical strength, we were “made” to do physical labor, we don’t tire and we have a high tolerance for pain. Meh.
So auction day aka the “get together” happens. Racist comments and checking out Chris ensues. Comments including: “That’s quite a grip you have…;” “Black is in fashion;” and some Tiger Wood references.
Logan, another hypnotized brother who is Chris’s age is there with his much older “owner.” So, I’m reminded of spring break in Jamaica when older white womyn hire “Island boys/men” to be their “escorts” during the duration of their trip. Logan, who looks familiar to Chris, is asked to turn around and be on display.
Chris wanders off taking pics and comes upon a guest who is sitting away from the others. The guest, who is a blind art dealer, Jim Hudson, chops it up with Chris. Okay, this highlights the assumption that all marginalized people hit it off and have an automatic bond. Hudson was familiar with Chris’s work and complimented him on his photographic “eye.”
Chris goes back inside and finds his cell phone is no longer charging. Tha fudge? Who unplugged the phone? Georgina, the zombiefied/hypnotized servant. He talks to Georgina and she cries as if she wants to tell him to run, but she cannot. It’s like she’s having an internal conflict. She explains what happened, how she “accidentally” unplugged it while she was cleaning, and didn’t want to touch it anymore to then plug it back up.
Chris goes back outside and hot dog, the wit of the Peele made me half-smile. Rose’s dad, Mr. Armitage, introduced Chris to an Asian guest. Check it, ASIAN GUY. So, the “model minority” is at the “get together.” Pause, even the name of the gathering as the “get together,” that’s very soulful, as we often call gatherings, “get togethers.”
Mr. Armitage introduces Chris to Logan aka Andre, the zombiefied/hypnotized brotha who is there with his white “owner.” He looks familiar to Chris and he takes a pic of him with his camera phone and his nose bleeds. He has a “seizure.” You know, the common thought about zombies is that they have no souls and pics are a snapshot of someone’s energy. Logan goes in the house with Mrs. Armitage, goes “in the room” with her and he comes out “fine.”
Then there’s the BINGO game. Lordt, the auction and bidding on Chris. Even the Asian dude, “model minority,” is allowed to bid. The blind man wins the bid. I’m in my comfy chair in the theater squirming and wanting to yell at the screen. HE WANTS HIS “EYE” AND EYES. Cooptation! Appropriation. Stealing our soul. Taking our mojo!
Chris is over it. He’s ret to go. His “gut” has been SCREAMING at him the entire movie, he acts on it. Rose plays the victim as says, “you’re going to leave me.” Girl bye. They go off and have a “romantical” moment next to water and he tells her she’s all he’s got. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! The Black man sitting behind me in the theater can’t take it any more, “Boy your arse is crazy…leave her.”
They go to the house and pack. Meanwhile, Rod, the ultimate friend who’s back in the city, dog sitting for Chris, starts googling. He finds that Logan is Andre Halsworth who at the beginning of the movie was snatched up while walking in the burbs. He was snatched in Evergreen Hallow, the same place where his boy, Chris is with Rose and her fam.
Ayeeeeeee! Ah ha moment for Rod
So back in Evergreen Hallow, Chris and Rose are packed up and they trying to leave and Rose claims she can’t find the car keys. Bruh! Let me tell you something. I NEVAAAAAA trusted Rose. Her uber-liberalism and alleged understanding and being the victim and her alleged “wokeness” were inauthentic to me. And she had that voice. That therapist-like voice. I am a therapist and even I detest the therapist voice.
Rose tells Chris that she can’t find the keys and finally she tells him, “You know I cannot give you the keys.” He was crushed, but not for real. CHRIS YOU KNEW, BROTHA, YOU KNEW!
So, this is where the notetaking gets shoddy cos this is the thick of the movie and I was working hard at managing my emotions and not talking/screaming/emoting at the screen like I’m in the comfort of my own home watching this with myself. Lol lol lol
The gist: Chris is hypnotized again and goes to the sunken place. He’s in the “prep room” with a floor tv from the 60’s and the tv comes on with a video from the Armitage family dating back to Rose’s grandfather. On the video, the grandfather talks about the Coagula aka “body snatchers,” a group that uses young Black bodies to house the minds/souls of older white people. Irony: Once again, the continued commodification, use and labor of Black bodies and culture.
The comedy is heightened here cos back in the city, Lil Rel/Rod goes to the authorities and tells them about his theory that the white people in Evergreen Hallow are “abducting Black people, brainwashing them to be sex slaves….” I was passed out laughing, eyes watering, so hard and loud that I had to muffle my laugh.
It was good to see Max, from Living Single, playing the authority. When Rod told her his theory, she was amused and says, “White girls get you every time…” I sooooooooooo was tickled by this because it felt like I was back at the University of Iowa having conversations about Black male students dating.
Back in Evergreen: I had the “Willie Lynch Making of the Slave” moment when the process of being body snatched was reviewed:
- Mental prep
The dad aka neurosurgeon prepped the blind man, who won the BINGO bid of Chris. Jeremy went to get Chris from the “holding room.” Chris plays like he’s passed out, but he isn’t, and he starts his killing spree. He kills Rose’s fam and then leaves. While driving away he hits Georgina. Lordt, the Black man has a flashback of his mother’s death and him feeling responsible. (She was killed in an accident.) So he doesn’t leave Georgina as roadkill he gets her and puts her in the car.
Rose is up in the room chilling having a snack and listening to Dirty Dancing soundtrack and searching the internets for the “Top NBA prospects.” I was about to jump outta my seat because that was so masterfully and subtlety done. SHE “SCOUTS” BLACK MEN. Gets in relationships with them, manipulates them, convinces them that she is “woke,” ensures them that she loves them and guarantees that she is their “ride-o-die.” All while keeping them sexed and not leaning in or challenging him. She asserts, “I get you, babe!” As Oprah says her granny told her, “Get you some good white people.” Well Rose, plays the role of the “good white people.”
Anyhoo, Rose hears the bang of Georgina being hit and goes outside with her shotgun. Here’s the thing though. Walter ends up shooting Rose and then kills himself. It’s sorta like someone who suffers from memory loss and confusion having a moment of clarity. Yaaaaaasssss! Walter had a moment of clarity
Chris has to deal with Rose and she tries to apologize and sweet-talks him and he aint having it. He strangles her and she smiles. There’s a cop siren and Chris throws up his hands in defeat. This right here made many of us in the theater say, “Damn.” Go through all of this and it still comes down to being Black in america. “Hands up don’t shoot.
Not the cops though, it was Lil Rel/Rod. He says, “I told you not to go in that house.”
Chris asks, “How did you find me?” The best best best line of the whole movie was Rod’s response, “I’m T S motherfriggin A, we handle ish. Considered this handled.” PURE HILARIOUSNESS!
I’ll see the movie again and I’m sure I will add more epiphanies.