Okay, so I’m recommending something that pretty much everyone has seen. Still, Jordan Peele’s Get Out (2017) is one for the books. People are going to be talking about this film for ages to come, and with good reason: it’s excellent. So instead of giving you first-timer reasons to rewatch it (or watch it for the first time), I’m going to go a bit more abstract. Here are five outside-of-the-box reasons to watch it this weekend.
#1 – Jordan Peele kicked down a door
Writer/director Peele pitched the story producer Sean McKittrick without the expectation that the film would get made; McKittrick loved it and optioned it. The end result: Peele was the third individual nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay for his debut film by the Academy, and he was the first black individual to take home a Best Screenplay Oscar. If this means we get more storytellers of color out there in the mainstream – or at least get them recognized for the stellar work they’re doing – then I owe this film.
#2 – The objectification scene
There’s a scene in this film where the bodies of people of color are fetishized and spoken of in terms that seem flattering on the surface but are pretty shitty in practice. There’s a big difference between saying that someone is good looking and slobbering over a bodily stereotype like you’re at the meat counter of an upscale deli. It’s not how you treat a real person in front of you; fuck, you shouldn’t even act like this in private. It’s gross, but it’s something that needs to be observed and stomped on more often.
#3 – Microaggressions
Microagressions piss me off. They’re the snarky little comments that are said with a smile and shrugged off with feigned surprise – the old, “Why are you being so sensitive?” defense. They’re the insults and questions lobbed at someone, then brushed off as being perceived by the other person as being inappropriate, not actually inappropriate in nature. It’s class and race snobbery that’s deflected onto the feelings of the person who’s being crapped on. It’s alive and well at several points in this movie. Your blood should rightfully boil.
#4 –The original ending was dark AF
Look away if you don’t want to know the original ending. Still with me? Okay: Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) sits in jail after he’s arrested for trying to strangle Rose (Allison Williams), pretty much resigned to the fact that he’s going to rot in prison while the real aggressor is out there. It was supposed to be a statement on the real-life scenarios that unfold based on racism, but then police brutality got more press, and a happier ending was provided with the express purpose of providing some hope. I kind of like that Peele went that route, but the fact that he also had a darker ending in his back pocket means that he was willing to show a reality some didn’t want to see. I have to admire him for that.
#5 –The meaning of the song title
This is more so trivia than a full-on reason, but I think it’s cool. One of the songs in the film, “Sikiliza Kwa Wahenga,” is Swahili, and translates to “listen to your ancestors”. The song is a bit of a warning – telling the listeners heed their elders and move away from danger. It’s little details like that that make a film for me. And is it ever relevant.
Get Out can be purchased digitally, on Blu Ray or on DVD. This one is worth the investment.