Have you ever watched a movie and realized how some elements connect to reality? Well, because films, television shows and stories are inspired by real life, there usually is a message to dissect or underlying themes to decipher. After watching the film “Get Out,” a thriller directed and produced by comedian Jordan Peele, I went over scenes in my head to figure out deeper meanings.
Here are four subliminal messages that I interpreted relating to race and varying narratives in today’s society from “Get Out.”
- When protagonist Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is introduced to the family of his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), her brother Jeremy asked an abundance of questions. Of course, it is expected for the overprotective brotherly love to turn into an interrogation, but this scene dug deeper than a brother getting to know the boyfriend. The following dialogue gives more insight to the scene.
Jeremy: “You into Mayfinn?”
Chris: “Like the UFC?”
Chris: “Nah, too brutal for me.”
Jeremy: “You know with your frame and genetic makeup, if you just pushed your body … you’d be a f***ing beast.”
Because of the aggressive and violent narrative portrayed of black men in society, Jeremy may have had preconceived notions of Chris based on his race, assuming that he enjoys fighting and brutal behavior. After this exchange, Jeremy went as far as to challenge Chris into a headlock after he repeatedly declined to play fight.
- When Rose’s parents host their annual get-together with family friends, Chris is introduced to the guests; each introduction demonstrates different levels of micro-aggression. For instance, one of the guests said, “Fair skin has been in favor for years, but now the pendulum has swung back, black is in fashion!” Another placed emphasis on knowing Tiger Woods, a famous African-American golfer, hoping to relate to Chris in some way. Another guest looked Chris up and down, felt his muscles and then asked Rose, “Is it true? Is it better?” This comes from the stereotype that black males are more sexually pleasing when compared to other races and are perceived as more exotic.
- Further into the get-together scene, one man asked Chris, “Do you find being an African American more advantaged or less advantaged in the modern world?” Some tend to perceive African Americans as ethnocentric – -only being able to discuss issues relating to their culture. It was clear in the film that Chris did not feel comfortable being asked the question out of nowhere, with all the guests stopping conversation to hear his reply. To divert the attention off of himself, he turned to another African-American individual there and proposed he answer the question.
- The silent bingo scene was presented as an innocent game but quickly turned into an auction of “selling” protagonist Chris for his physical features. This is fairly similar to when slave owners would hold auctions to bid on African-American individuals or families to make them slaves.
Prestigious production companies, writers and directors may have shied away from portraying social or political messages in the past; however, I see more diversity efforts within recent films. Real-world problems like those depicted in “Get Out” may be presented in creative or exaggerated ways, but the overall purpose is to convey a message and have an audience interpret it based on their experiences. Jordan Peele plans on creating more films in the next decade similar to “Get Out” to tackle and shed more light on different narratives and stereotypes within society.