I really enjoyed Jordan Peele's film "Get Out" from 2017. It had a great story and twist, addressed important themes, and was properly scary. As a fan of "Get Out," I walked into Peele's film "Us" last Friday night with high expectations. Everyone was talking about how outstanding the film was and I expected to enjoy the film as much I enjoyed "Get Out."
However, I was disappointed.
I thought that the twist in the film was obvious from the very beginning of the movie and I was anticipating it the whole time. I also feel that the film could have had more build-up in revealing the monstrous doubles. It felt like the movie had just begun when the family of doppelgangers arose from the underground to battle the privileged above-ground family. Then, the family essentially spends the rest of the film trying to defeat their accursed duplicates.
The story behind the doppelgangers that live underground was not built upon much either. I thought that their story was going to be more than it was. The reason behind the doubles was simply that the government created doubles of people above-ground and then cast them aside forgotten.
Also, I feel like there were some unnecessary elements to the film that were not explained at all.
The rabbits are a central image of the film, but they did not turn out to mean much at all. I noticed Adelaide's daughter at the beginning of the film had a shirt with an image of a rabbit on it and the rabbits are in the opening scenes of the movie. Yet, all they amount to is the food of the underground slaves.
Any message that the audience can gain from "Us" can only be derived from deep reflection on the film or from studying the theories of others.
Theories I read after watching the film viewed "Us" as a film about social class and privilege. The underground slaves are meant to represent the lower American class. Adelaide, the main female character, and her family are meant to represent the middle class. The white, rich friends of Adelaide and her family are meant to represent the upper, wealthy class.
The underground slaves had to rise up and rebel or else they would remain suffering forever.
The twist of the film is that when Adelaide met her double as a young girl, her and the double switched places. So the Adelaide that the audience has seen the entire film is actually the true Adelaide's underground double. She took Adelaide's life in the above-ground world and learned how to fit in with others.
This is meant to demonstrate that when given the opportunity, the lower class could achieve as much as the middle and upper classes. Adelaide's double gained a pretty good life because she had the opportunity to rise up above her original station in life.
I appreciate this message, but I wish it was a little bit more obvious in the film, although I am normally a fan of subtlety.
I also deeply appreciated the final battle scene between Adelaide and her doppelganger. The shots cutting from the two dancing to the two battling looked really good and were perfectly in time with the music of the film. I loved it. Lupita Nyong'o also did a phenomenal job playing both Adelaide and her double.
So, although I was a little disappointed by "Us," I think overall it relayed an important message and had some good moments cinematically.