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Stay Woke, My Friends

Without a doubt, it can be said that most people today live in speculation of one another. Whether it be because someone is of a different race, gender, walk or life, or sexual orientation; most people are skeptics. We are trusting of others, to an extent, but we still keep a cautious eye just in case, which sometime is understandable because  anyone can be out of pocket. It is a sad truth.  Given all the political antics and debate of today, many feel it’s best to note the company you keep and pay closer attention than you normally would to what they are saying and how they are saying it. I opened my post this way because that was already our reality before February 27, 2017. After that day, I will go on record stating that I guarantee much more people are side-eyeing those around them.

Jordan Peele’s racially loaded horror film, Get Out, debuted a few weeks ago on the 27th of February. Let me just say, it was quite eye-opening and very well-articulated. I am not a fan of horror films at all. However, the subject matter for this film caught my attention instantly and I was curious as to how Mr. Peele would present it. Films that deal with race relations must be executed so delicately and it’s seemingly difficult to be innovative and original while still nailing that execution. May I say, this execution and delivery was handled masterfully.

I will give you all a quick synopsis of the film and try my best not to spoil it for anyone. The movie follows an African American man named Chris, played by Daniel Kaluuya, and his Caucasian girlfriend Rose. The two seem to be in a pretty established relationship and have come to that “Meet the Parents” phase in their exclusivity. Thus, the two go for a weekend excursion to Rose’s hometown. Initially, Rose’s family seems overly eager to please. They seem to be making quite the fuss over Chris’s arrival. They give him the typical ‘trying too hard’ introductions and attempt to force quick bonds with him, giving stern advice and even attempting to dig into his mental. However, it is laced with a bit more than the normal overcompensation. Nonetheless, Chris attempts to ignore all the awkward, almost eerie, encounters he has had with Rose’s family and chalks it all up to nerves. He also takes into consideration that there may be an uneasiness with her family because of his race, given that Rose has mentioned that he is the first Black man she has dated. As the weekend progresses, however, the stranger the behavior becomes and what were seemingly subliminal messages come to flourish as frightening truths. This leaves Chris disturbed, disgusted, and in danger.

First off, kudos to the cast. Daniel Kaluuya is low key quite the delectable and I didn’t even see it coming. I was blindsided by that deep chocolate skin and those teeth, but that’s for another post. (Cuties are coming out of the woodworks this year. First, Kofi Siriboe. Then, Keith Powers. Now, this? Damn, Daniel!)

Regaining my composure,  I was very glad that they gave Daniel’s character, Chris, a lot of layers. He wasn’t just an unsuspecting victim. His backstory and his underlying, unresolved issues made the film almost enchanting. It was like you had to keep watching because you formed a concern and a need to protect Chris, especially once you knew the totality of his problems. Rose and the entire Armitage family, without giving spoilers, represented a lot of underlying racial slurs and prejudices that we see so often in society. From the assumptions made about Black People to the stereotypical “Average Black Man” stigma of only being good for physical activity. (I would say more, but the film is still relatively new and some things you just have see to understand.)

Overall, I feel that a “well done” is in order to all of the cast members.

The favorites, for me, were Rod Williams, Chris’s best friend, played by Lil Rel Howery and Andrew Logan King, played by LaKeith Stanfield. Rod Williams literally said everything the audience thought. It was refreshing to have a realistic view of all the craziness that was happening in the film. Rod gave me some good ole ‘average Black man in 2017’ responses and I lived for it!

LaKeith’s character was noteworthy to me because of the authenticity of his first scene in the film. The way he was mumbling what he should to do to keep down conflict, hinting at the troubling encounters many Black men face in similar situations, and his attempt to immediately get ghost when things seemed a little unusual was so perfect to me. He and Lil Rel’s character, Rod, added a fun factor to the movie because they were so modern-day and their reactions were true to the times in which we live.

However, Betty Gabriel’s portrayal of Georgina, the maid, was the most award worthy. Her laughter through tears, when her inner self came out, and her scurrying around in anxiety were all so real. It was phenomenal. This woman’s performance is like nothing I have seen before. So, she definitely was among my top three.

With quick wit, comedic commentary, and unusual exchanges, Get Out addressed major issues that we face today. The attention that Peele gave to detail in this film was evident. With Rose eating her cereal separately from the milk, as to preserve the purity of the milk, it was clear that everything was intentional.Every word, every mention, every exchange meant something and brought the film full circle. He touched on racism, black appropriation, organ harvesting, marginalization of African Americans, and so much more.

Ultimately, whether you are into horror or not, the film is worth checking out.

Before I sign-off, shout-out to whoever chose the music for this film. Childish Gambino’s “Redbone” had me forgetting what my purpose was in that theater. I loved it!

If nothing else, Get Out instilled in me that it is best to keep my iPhone in a case with a Juice Pack (because you never know whose unplugging)  and never trust anybody that has tea time all the damn time. I have featured “Redbone” below for ya’ll to check out. Remember to steer clear of the sunken place and at the very least, stay woke.

#GiveMeTheKeysRose

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