The new thriller, “Get Out,” written and directed by Jordan Peele, is now out in theaters. Unlike any typical suspense movie, though, Peele has shined a light on a different perspective of society.
Though many movies are based around an African-American point of view, “Get Out” has gone above and beyond any expectations. The symbolism Peele uses throughout the entire film truly encompasses the overall theme Peele is depicting: white supremacy.
Now, before you jump and run from the cliché term society has come to deem a fantastic notion of inane insanity, think about what it is to be an African-American man, a minority in the United States. Many of us can’t understand what that means; we just don’t have the personal experience to comprehend that thought. What Peele wants us his audiences to realize is the African-American perspective on white culture and, by association, society’s majority.
Immediately the movie begins with a few jokes from the protagonist, Chris, as he takes a trip with his white girlfriend to meet her family. The usual affirmation of acceptance and security is given, and Chris takes the bait, despite his concerns of what the family may think of him.
Peele focuses on the differences between white and black culture by identifying the gestures, language, and clothing the two parties distinguish themselves with. It is here the audience begins to connect with Chris more as he, and we, feel like the outsider among the white faces. The subtlety of the interactions between Chris, the family, and the family guests touches a point in what defines racism. Though the family and guests never treat Chris in a negative way, their interest in his physicality and a few other stereotypes bring into focus the racist mindsets surrounding African Americans.
Through this film, Peele defines racism as assumptions made of an individual based on the color of skin, not by any negative treatment or oppression. To Peele, racism is a mentality, not necessarily an act of conveyed supremacy.
“Get Out” is significant, because Peele entreats the audience to step into the perspective of a black man. Many movies depict African Americans in a stereotypical and sometimes negative stance, but in this film, Peele exemplifies blacks as the victims of the story, not the whites, which is usually how society places their roles.
In the end, when the audience sees the familiar flashing of the blue lights, we know the cops have arrived. Immediately the audience is afraid, because like Chris, we understand what the situation looks like. The accusations will be made against Chris, and he will be identified as the threat over the white family, rather than see the black man as the victim.
Peele’s incredible writing and directing of this movie not only gives a thrill to the senses, but it begs the mind to reflect on modern society and the everyday circumstances a group of people must face each day.
Whether or not Peele intended to make a political statement doesn’t matter. The truth of his film should raise questions about the current state of affairs in our country and to understand that being black is defined by more than just the color of someone’s skin.