Without antecedent and in the plural, this is undoubtedly one of the most psychopathic movies I've seen in my life, it has caused nightmares, I give it a TEN/TEN scale.
Jordan Peele broke everything in 2017. Get Out, his first feature, was a low-cost movie for the American industrial standard, with television actors (the most resonant name was Bradley Whitford, maybe they have it from The West Wing or, more recent , from The Handmaid's Tale) that came to be released worldwide reaping an unexpected success at the box office and prizes.
Like Us, Get Out was released after the so-called USA Season Awards. This did not prevent the film from being talked about throughout the year and winning a ton of awards at the beginning of 2018, including the Oscar for best original screenplay.
Jordan Peele is an actor that comes from the world of comedy, perhaps the most fruitful ecosystem and that has most nourished the renewal of American cinema. It is likely that some say that it follows from cement, it is also likely to lie about it, the truth is that his figure until the exit of his opus one was virtually unknown and nobody saw in him the potential he has today.
The success of Get Out was also recognition for another of the most important people in Hollywood today: Jason Blum, Roger Corman of our generation, who got his second Oscars nomination, the first had been with Whiplash.
Blumhouse has two or three very simple guidelines when producing a film: worth less than $ 10 million; that the action takes place in a few locations, if possible in one or two; and eliminate any extra nonsense expenses: cheap actors and the minimum and indispensable of fx. With that criterion, almost a cinematic Moneyball, Jason Blum ensures in case of success to earn a lot of money, in a scenario not so auspicious to earn little and, in the most catastrophic of cases (Jem and the Holograms cof… cof…), to lose Little money.
If the Blumhouse factory is analyzed, it is not surprising that most of his films are about horror productions. They are, in general, the ones that take the most people to the movies and the ones that less often matter to the average viewer and the mercenaries who make them the cinematographic quality.
Perhaps, as a complement to Blumhouse, is that A24 has come to put a mantle of audiovisual decency as a hallmark of his films, with productions that are managed with economic parameters similar to those imposed by Jason Blum, but with a more careful approach, privileging what we could call a sort of "author's look", a little less mercenary.
The fact is that Get Out brings together the best that this type of low-cost films can give: a great horror film, very well written, fun for the average viewer and, in addition, with great samples of the management of audiovisual resources put into operation scene and direction of actors.
Only with those elements did Jordan Peele reach him to become a strong person within the current industry and, in particular, within the African-American film community. In a very short time he began producing very important films, including Blackkklansman, and gave a green light to a reboot of the Unknown Dimension coordinated by him.
If Get Out was enough for Jordan to accomplish all this, I would say that with Us they would have to give him the keys to all of Hollywood and let him do whatever he wanted.
Parentheses before entering the film analysis. I was lucky to see the film at the Numax cinema in Santiago de Compostela, where I was traveling visiting my dear friend Sebastian. That room, a delight for moviegoers, is in a beautiful bookstore. Small but cozy, it is one of the most beautiful places where I could enjoy watching a movie, almost like the dream of private cinema itself. If anyone who reads this ever walks through Santiago, I highly recommend the experience.
Now, entering the movie fully the first shot is that of a girl who is reflected on television. It's 80 'and everything seems to indicate that we will be facing a lot of references that we are already tired of. Well no, serious mistake. That shot where the little girl looks on the black television in which a commercial for the Hands Across America campaign will be played is a synthesis and a forshadowing of everything that will come later. It's always good to remember what a dear friend says: the end of good movies is always in the beginning.
The girl goes with her parents to an amusement park, is as lost. Something takes her to a mirror room. Suddenly, she observes herself, but what seems to be her reflection is not. The black cut brings us to the present where that girl is now an adult Lupita Nyong’o going on vacation with her family (Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex). From then on a lot of elements will be planted and then recovered and resigned by Peele.
It is often spoken in a derogatory tone of the "iron script" or the classical structure of acts when analyzing a film. I would tell all those people who doubt about the effectiveness of the method that Us sees. Somehow the movie is that. A classic script structure applied with mastery. Three acts, trigger, two pivot points, dark moment, climax and resolution. Everything thought and calculated in detail, like a watchmaking machinery that makes what is going to happen inevitable but still surprises us.
This surprise is not in the "what", any seasoned viewer can advance the movements in the plot of the film; It is the "how" that makes the film a wonder. The director works a "style" of terror, recovers the care in the details of the great films of Craven or Carpenter, works those details and makes a perfect amalgam in which the setting of the locations, the costumes, the objects with which they interact and the construction of the characters are complemented by the choice of frames and camera movements perfectly. One of the things that impresses most about the film is that: nothing seems to be delivered at random, there is a sense of control that is brilliant, because it is also narrative: a plan as calculated as that of the antagonists corresponds to a setting on the same planned scene.
I do not want to go into the plot, or reveal many details about it, but there are some issues that I think deserve to be highlighted. Who has not seen the movie please stop reading now as there will be little spoilers from here in more.
Unlike Get Out this movie has a black imprint that is not given by what is told but by the political decisions that are made on some subjects. Peele chooses to star a black family in a story that could happen to any family (in fact it happens to the marriage played by Elisabeth Moss and Tim Heidecker). This does not make a particular sense for the plot, much less, it is just a political decision. Choose to put black protagonists where there could be whites. He then decides to match, goes one step further and states that films with blacks are not necessarily those where the racial issue plays a fundamental role in the development of the story, they can also be stories in which they are only the protagonists and are not the ones First to die as idiots. More progressive than many seasoned and combative directors of our national cinema.
The above does not mean that there is not a social look in the film, much less. It is a movie with a political subplot. Now, like every great subplot, it appears hidden from the surface; you have to think and dig a little to see it. It is also ambiguous and requires discussion and interpretation, keep talking about the movie when we leave the cinema. Of course, if one does not want to do that - thinking is a bit out of fashion in these times - you can go to the movies, enjoy a movie, get scared, laugh a little and then go eat pizza around. Nothing happens, Us is that too.
Prior to the initial sequence of the film, Peele puts on a plate two sentences in which he tells us that there are thousands of kilometers of tunnels and underground roads in the United States. A submerged world, unexplored by the daily lives of its inhabitants. From those tunnels will come the evil Doppelgängers.
That's why Us could also be called U.S (United States) and it would make a lot of sense. The film takes place in the 80’s, in full neo-liberal Reaganian and now in the Trump administration, after the 2008 crisis and the bankruptcy of Detroit. Yes, the literal bankruptcy of the most important industrial symbol known to the northern country. Thousands of unemployed people, thousands of people living on the street, applications for which we pay others to find us quickly pedaling a coffee or a Bigmac. All of that says something about us, Us and U.S. Lupita herself, in one of her characters confesses it when Gabe (Winston Duke), scared, asks What are you guys? and she answers We are Americans.
Zygmunt Bauman at the time of analyzing the charity fairs in his book Work, consumerism and new poor maintains the following: “(…) But it is not possible to completely suppress the moral impulse; consequently, the expulsion from the world of all moral obligation can never be complete. Although consciences are silenced with the continuous bombardment of information about moral depravity and the criminal inclinations of the poor without work, the stubborn residues of moral impulse find their escape route from time to time. This exit is provided, for example, by the periodic "charity fairs", crowded but short-lived meetings, where the contained moral feelings are manifested, triggered on those occasions before the spectacle of painful sufferings and devastating miseries. But like every fair and every carnival, those meetings also fulfill the function of escape routes, eternalizing the horrors of everyday routine. These charity fairs, in short, allow indifference to be more bearable; they strengthen, ultimately, the convictions that justify the banishment of the poor from our society (…) ”.
The act of charity is born as an act of apology to God, it is something that is not done for the other if not for one. Giving what is left over, I shed the unnecessary and obtain peace with the higher self. Bauman goes a little further, he maintains already far from the religious question that charity is a screen, a kind of sunglasses that allow me to tolerate what would be intolerable in another way: the lenses are for the sun and for people who makes me sick.
In both calculations the one that is "helped" does not appear, remains invisible, conforms to the crumbs of my life, with the little that this model of social organization leaves them: raw rabbit and cold beds.
What would happen if they got tired, if they wanted something else?