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Peele projects race relations onto big screen in ‘Get Out’

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you have heard about the movie “Get Out.” From director Jordan Peele (of “Key and Peele” fame), this self-proclaimed “social thriller” showcases a much darker side of Peele that was never present in his comedy-skit show.

The first trailer for this movie left most people confused and unsure if it would be a true thriller or a spoof movie. Fortunately, it was the former and it makes for one of the best thrillers in recent history; it even has a 99% “fresh” score on Rotten Tomatoes, soiled only by one “rotten” review.

Most of the press for this movie has been centered around the movie’s obvious commentary about race relations and African-American struggles. The plot is one of the most crucial parts to the brilliance of “Get Out,” so I’ll do my best to lure potential moviegoers in by giving an abbreviated version of the plot without spoiling anything.

A black man named Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) is dating a white woman named Rose (Allison Williams, daughter of disgraced anchorman Brian Williams). Chris and Rose are going into the woods (spooky) to meet Rose’s parents for the first time (a terrifying prospect for any boyfriend). Shenanigans ensue. Any other mention of the story would ruin important plot details that are imperative to the story.

One of the best features of this film is its characters. Coming from a comedic, sketch-based background, Peele has been coming up with outlandish characters for years and his experience with it shows in the movie. While most of the characters are evil maniacs, the main character, Chris, is a relatable man, just trying to fit in with his girlfriend’s family.

Kaluuya previously acted in one of the most unsettling episodes of the Netflix series “Black Mirror” (“Fifteen Million Merits,” for those who are familiar with the show), and here he brings his acting credentials to the big screen. Smart, handsome and intelligent , Chris is an excellent choice for a main character and Kaluuya brings him to life beautifully, using every emotion in the book. Happiness, sadness, anger and fear are all weapons in Kaluuya’s arsenal and he utilizes them efficiently.

Despite some annoying tendencies (an excessively arrogant smile and a penchant for snooping on people), I found myself cheering this character on every step of the way, even with my affinity for unhappy endings.

Rod Williams, who is easily the best character in the movie,  is the ideal “best friend” character. Played brilliantly by Lil Rel Howery, Rod mixes the funny sidekick character with the loveable best friend character into one of the most enjoyable sidekicks in recent years. He’s kind of like Batman’s Robin, if Robin was black, overweight, hilarious and much cooler than Batman. In a world full of Jonah Hills and Seth Rogens, Lil Rel Howery didn’t try too hard to be funny, and that’s what made him a welcomed comedic side note in an otherwise terrifying film.

The powerful message about race relations in America should not be overlooked, but the movie is so much more than a public service announcement. It makes for a dark and twisted story, written by a talented and accomplished writer, brought to life by brilliant and relatable actors. “Get Out” may not have a 100% “fresh” score on Rotten Tomatoes, but it does have my meaningless, unaccredited seal of approval. I recommend that anyone who likes movies to go watch “Get Out.” But please don’t do it illegally, that’s just disrespectful.