Garrett Looker is a sophomore journalism major and writes "On the Lookout" for the Daily News. His views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Garrett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At a time in our nation when race relations are at odds, with riots and movements sparking across the country, it's refreshing to see pop culture directly taking on the issue.
One may think that a film such as "Get Out" would be directed by someone who has taken on larger themes before, like Spike Lee. However, "Get Out," a film that refuses to dance around the conflict and tension that the topic of culture sometimes brings, was directed by Jordan Peele.
Peele, who has created a persona of being comedic and lighthearted, delivers a solid film of race relations in his directorial debut.
The film begins with simple exposition, revealing that the main couple of the movie, Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and Rose (Allison Williams), are traveling to meet Rose’s parents. The catch is that it will be Chris’ first time meeting the family, a moment of anxiety that many can relate to.
Peele uses this common beginning to successfully connect with the audience. His use of a simple plot line, but a relatable one, gives the audience a base of reality to build upon. But the world that Peele throws Chris into, and the audience, is one that is all too real.
The film quickly takes a turn to the darker side of things as it reveals that Rose’s parents, and others who live in the neighborhood, have no intentions of getting to know Chris. In fact, they don’t have intentions of acknowledging his humanity at all.
From there on, the film is powered by the excellent acting performance of Kaluuya. Kaluuya reveals a great deal of emotions throughout the course of the film, translating how painful it is for his character to understand that racism is still alive, underlining the world as it speaks subtle words of hatred.
While the acting performances, powered by Kaluuya, held the film on course to uncover racial issues that lie beneath the fabric of our nation, the third act of "Get Out" derailed its message.
The plot of "Get Out" turned toward the sci-fi. In order to keep spoilers at bay, I will not dig into detail of what sci-fi means. However, Peele may have gotten a bit ambitious in his attempt to deliver a triumphant first film.
While "Get Out" sometimes struggled to stay on the track of a political commentary thriller, it occasionally drifted toward the horror genre. Kaluuya’s acting performance was superb, but his back story and past regarding his late mother was underdeveloped. With greater detail, this could have given Peele’s "Get Out" more weight, full of emotion and meaning.
Regardless of what "Get Out" may have been missing, that didn’t stop the experience of watching the film from being amazing.
Between the whoops and hollers from the crowd, "Get Out" proved to be a rollercoaster ride of a movie. Anyone sitting in the audience of 200 or so college students could clearly tell that this wasn’t just a movie to go watch, but an experience to remember.
Throughout the entirety of the film, excited shouts of, “GET HIM!,” “DON’T OPEN THE CLOSET!” and “IT’S A THRILLER NOT A HORROR!” were loud throughout the theater.
Some held tight to the arms of the people sitting next to them, holding on for dear life as they both shook with fear. Others laughed hysterically at the strong comedic relief of the film. All, I’m sure, enjoyed it.
In short, Jordan Peele’s "Get Out" delivers a great film to watch with friends, but to also question what we are doing as a nation. "Get Out" uses comedic values that are shades of Peele’s work from "Key and Peele," but it takes on an issue in American culture that must be discussed, while giving it a sci-fi twist.