This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Laura’s review published on Letterboxd :
This review may contain spoilers.
Shock and awe. Shock and awe are my reactions to not only watching this movie, but also the fact that this movie is something Jordan Peele was compelled to make. This movie. I mean, my god. There's so much I could say.
This is not a comedy. This is also not a drama, nor is it a horror movie. This thing right here transcends genre. It usurps all of them, constantly surprises, and somehow finds an artesanal hybrid of everything a movie can be. Much like the perennially fast-paced twists and turns the movie partakes in, the notion that you can qualify something like this into a box makes me want to jump out of my seat. Just like some of the scenes in the movie did.
I can't tell you how many times I've heard or seen some white person make fun of black people by shouting, "Don't go in there! Don't go in that house! Don't go in that room!", followed by, "I told you not to go in there!" Cleverly enough, it is Rod who tells Chris these similar feelings at the end of the film. Upon further investigation, I found that this was very intentional on Peele's part. It's these kinds of cheeky winks at very pertinent stereotypes that makes this movie so much more than a simple social commentary.
Nobody needs me, a white girl, to explain the thoughts and symbols I found and had upon experiencing this ride. But I'd like to try if you'd let me.
The whole hypnotizing process, as supernatural as it could seem on the surface, is actually quite grounded in reality if you think about it. The speech about wanting to merge to become something "more" is obviously bullshit, but that's why this is fascinating and depressing all at once. Black people were slaves for what seems like an eternity, and it's no secret that there are people all around the world (and quite literally still in our world doing this very thing right now!) who would love for the social order to go back to the way it was. Having a black person as a slave, an object, something that needn't be cared for or tended to, rather that THEY be the ones to look after you, the white folk. But it's so much worse than that here, as Peele shows in an explosion on the screen. It's not even as kind as seeing a black person as an object. With this surgery, you see them as nothing. Less than human. A soulless entity, merely a vessel. The only thing of worth you could provide is a handsome face, excellent figure, and great sports skills. How fucking deplorable and draining is that?
But this is probably not far off on from how racists actually do see people of colour. The saddest thing of all is that this is not some terrifying dystopia. This is not a future world that is on the horizon in a few hundred decades or so, and the film didn't leave off with some message or warning about how there's a "possibility" that this could happen.
It's happening now.
And that's the most fucking scary thing about this movie.
I could praise these performances, but everyone has already done that. I could cry over the beautiful direction, cinematography, score - but I already did that. No, there's nothing left here to say. This movie left a cold feeling in my chest that no other media property ever has. This is not a stern warning. This is a harsh reminder of the current hellscape we live in. It's fucking brilliant, as we all know, but it shouldn't have even had to exist.
Such is life.
At least we have an indestructible, black protagonist for once! Right?
Anyway. This movie is going to be a tough one to rewatch frequently. Repeat viewings would help clear the air on many nuances and subtle details (Rose's sneaky looks aren't out of frustration, rather confusion, for the adults not to go too far), but I don't know if I have it in me to view such a deep magnifying glass to our society multiple times. I know I owe it to myself to simply not let myself or anyone I know become like the Armitages.
But it's not as simple as that. It has never been as simple as that.