Satire is a genre that can be found in literature, theater, and even graphic arts. The art or performance exemplifies community abuses, vices, and flaws and is held up to ridicule (Morreall 1). Satire’s goal is to shame the government, corporations, individuals, or society as a whole into correcting and improving a problem. Satire makes use of comedic elements, and its main goal is to present social criticism through wit that draws attention to a social problem. Today, films are increasingly being used to present societal issues through satire and comedy. Jordan Peele, for example, is the director of the critically acclaimed film “Get Out.” The ‘Get Out’ movie is a mastery of crafted combination of satire humor and horror (Horror -satire) exemplifying the experience of living in a racist society. The situation has become complacent with the marginalization of minority groups (especially African Americans) in the American society. Therefore, the paper examines the incorporation of humor in movies thus make the movie valuable to the audience.
Humor in the movie ‘Get Out’
Peele is known to satirize the social landscape in America using half sketch comedy duo Key and Peele. Peele directed the tale of an Africa-American man, Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) who traveled upstate to meet his white girlfriend’s parents for the first time in five months since they started dating (Peele). Interracial romance and love between the two young people is not the problem but the reaction of seemingly open-minded people in the girlfriend’s hometown. The rich population always complimented Chris’s physical appearance and ponders about his sexual prowess and insisted on telling him how much the white people admired American sports personality, Tiger Woods. On finding other African American in the town brought some relief to Chris but could not understand their behavior. Walter and Georgina, a housekeeper are only African American people around and seemed oddly happy living in this town but expressed disquieting grins (Peele). The duo looked too obedient and moved in an almost lobotomized daze. When idle, Walter walks around the town at top speed while Georgina sits for long hours in self-reflection. The zombie-like behavior from Georgina is significantly revealed throughout the movie sticking Chris and the audience.
Peele connotation of the opening scene is similar to the film ‘I know What You did Last Summer and imitation of Halloween. Such satirical scenes made the actors look scared of their lives in bougie locale make the movie funny from the beginning. The sequence does not force the protagonists into battles with other forces as witnessed in Cream or Halloween movies. In the film ‘Get Out’, Chris have light fear and feels alienated in the new setting and experienced a nightmare when a masked man appeared to him during the night. The man plays a racist song at full volume to get Chris’s attention. The haunting IRL implication, humor and referentially help make the movie effective.
Humor in a film plays an important role. Humor is the rubber sword that allows people to make a point without drawing blood (Cohen and Richards 1). Dave Chappelle’s Clayton Bigsby a blind white supremacist did not learn that he was black. The African-American comical sketch shouts hatred comments towards black minorities. The African Americans are lazy, like smoking, good for nothing and have big noses that breath Whiteman’s air….’ Comedy may be merely funny but there is more than laughter (Cohen and Richards 1). The humor lines contain social commentary about racism and discrimination in the United States (1). Interestingly, the movie ‘Get Out’ uses some magic to fuse biting satire with horrifying spectra of racism. The fights are not the situation but the terror is mental as it sets power dynamism of racism.
The comic films make the audience uncomfortable at some point but are a good avenue for people to mirror and confront realities they ignore. Humor among the minority serves a crucial tool in neutralizing stereotypical power acting as the obstruction to equality in the society. The standup comedy offers an avenue for the society to critic and instigates transformational changes in a manner that leaves the audience waiting and wanting more. During the ‘Get Out’ film’s debut got universal praise as Peele managed to deal with racist American society in a manner that is unflinching, funny and very refreshing. Peele highlighted a number of issues in a stunning fashion. Peele managed to point our slave trade, suburban racism, police brutality and black people dying first in horror movies.
Other movies using satire to expose racism include ‘Iron Sky’ (2012) and ‘Bamboozled’ (2000) by Spike Lee. The Iron Sky film by Timo Vuorensola used absurd horror to depict racism in the American society. The movie place action on the dark side of the moon where Nazi soldiers hide and were plotting to convert black people into white. The Bamboozled film by Spike lee challenges the way Hollywood portrays black people on the screen. The satirical masterpiece highlights the ridiculous ways Hollywood portray black people in television and cinema since inception. Pierre Delacroix, an educated African American scriptwriter protests against white bosses’ conception about the black man and how they should appear on the screen. In protest, Pierre staged ‘Twenty-First Century Minstrel Show’ (Lee). Instead of being sacked, the show became a massive hit in the movie industry. After succeeding, Pierre is in a dilemma torn between self-respect and success, corporate growth and racial oppression. The two issues, unfortunately, complement each other in the television and film industry. However, these movies were able to bring actions closer to reality indicating the horrors taking place within the boundaries of United Sates and the issue has been bubbling beneath the surface.
Famous comedians such as Peele Jordan and Keegan-Michael wrote the article ‘Make Fun of Everything’. In the article, both comedians indicated the true face of American society. The American did not act politically correct and categorized them as bullies. Peele and Keegan are comedians with the intention of making their audience laugh. They claim that it is hard to make people laugh due to the world of extreme people live today. The people seem to forget the true sense and meaning of humor: to assist people to forget their world’s fears and horrors. The two comedians suggested that people should not over think every joke thy make but mediate to have a deeper meaning. It is scaring if people and Keegan lost their audience. It is also encouraging to have people who can understand and appreciate humor thus eliminate stereotype and fears.
The examples given in the article are not intended to elicit any harm or insult rather because of laughter to the audience on everything they say. The public should decide whether the movie gets out is funny or not (Morreall 1). It is the right moment people stopped caring about other say or think and the world appreciate the humor. Humor will stop being insulting but allow people make comments on using race and gender-based on issues facing the society.
On her part, Marcia Clemitt discussed aggression when it overwhelms humor in the article ‘Ethnic Humor’s NO joke for Amateurs’. In the article, a radio host, Don Imus commented on Rutgers University women’s Basketball team. According to Marcia clement, the radio host referred to the team comprised of many African-American members as ‘nappy-headed hos’ (189). People were outrageous on these comments and Don responded that it was only meant to be funny (189). Don’s debrief made him respond using the broadcast and explained why the sexist and racist comments was still a chronic disease in the American society. Critics of racial comments argue that stereotype jokes can be explosive and elicit more hate. Don was shocked that Americans continue to ban certain types of comments or jokes making them a taboo. According to Clemitt, aggression is an important element of humor. The comedians theoretically transform physical aggression to verbal violence. At the same time, children raised in racist and sexual stereotype communities are impacted negatively (190). The movies ‘Get Out’ elicit humor which should unite the people through diversion to societal problems. Making jokes with others help put practice consideration aside thus make everyone look relaxed.
The audiences have the option of looking at the film from whatever angle they like. Above all else, the movie ‘Get out’ is undoubtedly the most culturally significant works in the year 2017. The script observed discipline and written and directed by a practiced satirist. The film’s perfect construction appeals to all; even to the most skeptical. In wearing out a particular idea, Peele pivot to some tension-building idea and other grinning issues. The movie exposes the liberal ignorance and hubris American society allowed to fester. The movie tries to find a solution but in reality, it causes complacencies that are just as dangerous.
Clemmitt, Marcia. Ethnic Humor’s No Joke for Amateurs. CQ Researcher, 2007. 2 May 2017. Web.
Lee, Spike, Jon Kilik, Damon Wayans, Savion Glover, Jada P. Smith, Tommy Davidson, Michael Rapaport, and Terence Blanchard. Bamboozled. , 2012. Internet resource.
Key, Keegan-Michael and Peele, Jordan. Make Fun of Everything. Time Magazine. 13, March 2014.2 May 2017. Print.
Morreall, John. The Social Value of Humor. New York State University of New York, 1983. 19, 2 May 2017. Print.
Peele, Jordan, Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Caleb L. Jones, and Stephen Root. Get Out. , 2017.
Roger Cohen, Ryan Richards. When the Truth Hurts, Tell a Joke: Why America Needs It’s Comedian. 2 May 2017. Web
Vulrensola, Timo, Michael Kalesniko, Julia Dietze, Götz Otto, Christopher Kirby, and Johanna Sinisalo. Iron Sky. , 2014.