Get Out (2017)

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Get Out is a timely entry in these cynical pressure-cooker of times. It is a piece of compelling entertainment, ensnaring the viewer with a rising intensity of stirring paranoia; it is a sly whip-smart satire of our current world wrecked day in day out with racial tension and inequality. How it never becomes top down heavy and preachy is sheer master-craft.

Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), a 20-something black man visits his white girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) secluded family lake house. With his girlfriend at his side, he does his best to smile through the usual awkwardness of meeting the white family and dealing with white people’s polite racism. While navigating the long weekend, he has strained interactions with the few black people he encounters. Chris will be asked to accommodate his girlfriend’s family and whiteness in a way that is both unimaginably terrible and horrifyingly routine.

Part of the fun of Get Out is the winding twists and audacious turns, and a discussion of the plot will rob you of the fun. So I will refrain from doing that and will also not post the trailer. Best to go in blind. Believe the hype.

Writer-director Jordan Peele’s debut film is assured and deliciously wicked. Get Out feels like an extended Twilight Zone episode. It is a potent genre blender, pushing many racism buttons, sending them up in a refreshing manner without being preachy. Peele’s comedic roots is showcased here and the high-tensioned wire-act is neatly interspersed with some hilarious respites, which believe me, is much needed. Peele also achieved some great tonal shifts as the narrative easily slides out of comedy into horror and vice versa with a snap. I love narratives I can’t guess the outcome and even though I could see some twists coming ahead of time, I never felt short-changed because the characters are so well-drawn and the situation so twisted.

Daniel Kaluuya, best remembered as Emily Blunt’s sidekick in Sicario and an episode in the excellent Black Mirror series, is outstanding as the deer caught in the headlights. He demonstrated a lot of range and his character arc left me breathless as he raced toward the devastating finale. It is a dazzling performance that will make your blood run cold.

When the ultra-violent final denouement rolled in, I was punching my fist in the air; only the really good ones can make me do this. It is definitely one of the most satisfying endings I have experienced in cinema and Peele has knocked it out of the park with his first film. Cleverly written with a pulse on today’s crazy world and deeply unsettling, this darkly funny examination of what happens when you have got nothing left to lose is brilliantly addictive. This is a must-see for anyone who is occasionally reckless, ruthless or just plain psychologically weird, and anyone who loves clever movies.

4 / 5

 

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