In honor of the Us premiere this weekend, I watched Get Out for the fourth time. This review will be outside of my typical, and if you haven’t watched Get Out, I don’t recommend you read this.
Every single shot, every single word, every single interaction is deliberate. Jordan Peele is meticulous.
The first three runs of this, I didn’t quite understand the symbolism of the deer in the accident and the mounted deer head. I was too blinded by the commodification of Black bodies to really care, I guess. But I finally see it as Chris’ consciousness and individual purity.
When Chris and Rose are driving and they hit the deer, a few things happen. Rose is afraid, genuinely afraid, and we don’t see any other real emotion from her. Everything else she conveys to both the audience and to Chris is feigned. This is important to understanding how the deer symbolizes Chris’ autonomous authority as the literal deer that hit her car threatened her safety. So does Chris.
Also in this scene, Chris is curious for the well-being of the deer, and steps into the woods, as we get a close-up shot of his boots hitting the grass. In that shot we see Rose back by the car, she isn’t at all invested in the general well-being of the animal, but is still physically present. This is representative of her relationship with Chris. She is physically present but outside of reach.
When Chris steps into the woods, his concern stems from his lack of ability to help his mother when she was involved in a hit and run accident that led to her death. We get a duality that is not explained until later, but important to note your next watch. The connection between his mothers’ death and his autonomy has so many layers, man.
When Rose explains that they hit a deer, Dean goes off on a tangent, and it’s a little on the nose, but appropriate considering the context: “You know what I say? I say one down, a couple hundred thousand to go. I don’t mean to get on my high horse, but I’m telling you I do not like the fucking deer, I’m sick of it, they’re taking over, they’re like rats, they’re destroying the ecosystem. I see a dead deer on the side of the road and I think to myself ‘That’s a fucking start.'”
He’s talking about Black people who have autonomy and do not back down from their oppressors. He’s giving Chris a slice of his next steps, and he’s ensuring that his words are not minced: You are a pest.
And finally we get to the mounted deer. The deer that had a life outside of that basement, but is now a permanent fixture. It’s the center of the frame at least twice, and our attention is drawn to something so innocent being used for decorative purposes. The fact that Chris murks his white oppressor with his symbolic autonomy is *chefs kiss* poetic.
Jordan Peele is a genius. His layering begs to be followed and watched over and over again. 5/5.