The Brilliance of “Get Out”

SPOILERS FOR “GET OUT”

Get Out is the directorial debut of screenwriter and comic Jordan Peele. I recently saw this film, and while it has some flaws, it certainly is brilliant in some ways, that’s why this film deserves to have an article in this category. But what’s that brilliant part I am talking about?

There are two things that I want to praise this movie for: the balls it has and for the subtlety of certain things. Firstly, the balls it has. As you all probably know, this film touches on some racist themes, something not a lot of movies dare to do. Politics? Yes. War? Yes. Drugs? Yes. Racism? Not so much. A lot of movies just don’t dare to make account on the fact that racism’s still a thing even still today, which is quite absurd if you think about it. And because it’s one of the only movies that have the balls to touch on that subject, I want to praise it for that.

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Daniel Kaluuya in “Get Out” – 2017

But of course that’s just one minor, good thing that the movie has done. The thing that I want to focus on the most is how brilliant the movie was in being subtle about everything, from the characters to the acting to the storytelling. All these things were handled with such care, whereby we got a pretty good movie in the end.
Let’s start this off with the subtlety of the characters. Throughout the film we get hints to how the characters really are and it basically starts pretty early in the movie. When they’ve hit a deer Chris, the protagonist, goes to look at the deer and he shows sympathy something Rose doesn’t even bother to do. They subtly foreshadow for what’s to come.  Even when Rose seems to be defending Chris in front of the cops, it seems like a nice thing to do, but she’s not helping Chris, she trying to not have a trail leading to her having kidnapped Chris. Not only that, but the film also addresses something a lot of people don’t know about themselves and that is that they’re low-key racist.  The film does this by having the actors take note in very subtle facial gestures captured by close-ups. They haven’t come to realize that they in fact are one. Little tads of dialogue are scattered throughout the movie, continuously insinuating about how some people really are. Look for example at the dinner scene, there are multiple reference points.

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Allison Williams and Daniel Kaluuya in “Get Out” – 2017

The acting was, as said previous, also subtle at times, but effective. I’ve talked about subtle acting in the previous article in this category (The Brilliance of Manchester by the Sea), but in this movie it’s done differently. In Manchester by the Sea the emotions are subdued, whilst here those sad emotions aren’t, but the tiny annoyances are. We are able to see them, but they are harder to spot, which is done very good and they didn’t always highlight that, which only compliments the visual storytelling the movie’s going for in quite some scenes. It lets you figure out things yourself, but it also explains the needed things.
The storytelling is also quite subtle, because at first not a lot seems to be going on, whereas there really is going on quite a lot. For a big chunk of the film not a lot happens, but it’s these subtle things that drive the story forward, which was all pretty well put together.
But in the end the best thing the movie does best at being subtle at is the subtle racism, which was definitely one of the best parts of the film. How they portray it, and how correct they are on that subject. The subtle things that do in fact have an impact on Chris and how his characters develops of it to the point where he thinks that he’s wrong in seeing these things as subtle racism, whereas he really isn’t. They nail the akward feel it causes and the effects of it too, while it’s still quite subtle, which is impressive. It’s pretty hard to explain, but if you’d watch the film, it’d be clearer.

Subtlety is just a small part of the film, but it certainly made the film. Storytelling via visual hints or via subtle dialogue is way better than having continuous exposition. Just look back to the silent period, where they only had visual storytelling to play with. This film isn’t the best example of visual storytelling, I know that, but in subtlety it certainly was one of the better films, and it also contains some good messages, that’s why this film can be seen as “brilliant”.

 

Note: sorry that there aren’t a lot of articles in this category, but to write one I’d first have to see a film that has some interesting part to talk about, so don’t expect frequent articles in this category.

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