I’m writing this post about some of the themes I noticed from the new Jordan Peele movie, “US.” There will be some spoilers in this post. Come back here after you see the movie as I don’t want to spoil the movie for you. Great now that we got the pleasantries out the way let’s get to the post. One major theme of the film was that Adelaide explained a traumatic event as a child by meeting her doppelganger. Of course, this terrified her, and as the viewer, we believed she escaped and made it back to her parents. Later in the film, it’s revealed that Adelaide and Red (tethered doppelganger) switched places in childhood. Red went to the surface, and Adelaide stayed down below in the tunnels.
Essentially Red stole Adelaide’s life and every day since Adelaide along with the other tethered has been plotting their revenge. It further explains why Red fought so hard to defend her life and her family. Before this revelation, it came across as a Mom protecting her children. However, knowing that Red stole Adelaide’s life, it puts a different spin on it. Red vehemently was defending her spot because she didn’t want to go back living among the “others.” Adelaide reminds Red of where she once was and where she doesn’t want to be. I felt this directly correlates to what is happening with the immigration issue in the US.
Some folks within the dominant group don’t want people of color in as it minimizes their existence. They feel like they have to fight at all cost to protect themselves. Due to the number of people of color increasing and the dominant society is decreasing. Therein lies a power-shift! The oppressor is now becoming the oppressed which is a position they don’t like. Everything in their power in terms of laws or other means are created to keep the “others” out. It’s fine until the threat of self-preservation is near. Once this occurs, it’s all about survival of the fittest. I ultimately believe that Red was selfish in this regard. She didn’t care about her family. She was only looking out for self and didn’t want the “others” to have their time in the spotlight.
Another major theme I noticed has to do with the husband Gabe and the daughter Zora. Both of them were preoccupied with technology and keeping up with the Joneses. Zora was so caught up in her phone that she wasn’t paying attention to what was going on around her. When the tethered family was in the driveway, her mom asked for her phone. She said Mom I’m not on it when Red wanted to call the police for assistance. Zora wasn’t present for the current situation. Her only concern was that her phone was outside of her possession. To further illustrate my point while on the beach Zora barely interacted with anyone. Again she had her head in the sand literally and glued into her phone. I felt this strongly spoke to what we are experiencing now with social media. Some people don’t have social skills nor how to even communicate outside of social media.
People are using technology as a way to replace human interaction which is why once they do come in contact with others; it doesn’t go well. The husband Gabe was trying to keep up with his friend. He mentioned in the movie that his friend purchased a new car and a boat to mess with him. He doesn’t appear to have a knack for the boat, but it’s view as a status symbol. That if he has the boat he “made” it and he’s now apart of the upper-class society. I got to thinking about the emphasis we place on material items to fit in. We need to be more grateful for what we have instead of what we don’t. The grass isn’t always greener and whichever side is getting the most water will consistently appear to be more green.
There is a ton more of symbolism that I picked up from the movie which could make this post even longer. The ones I mentioned above spoke out to me as I got them right away while watching the film. The movie made me think about some of my current life choices and if I am making them for me or someone else. I am indeed an independent thinker like I believe or I am subconsciously following behind other people. I often time second guess myself, and I take a long time to settle on big decisions. I am worried that I’m going to disappoint my family somehow or think they will not approve of my choices.
I want to go with my gut instinct, but then I brush it off as not being realistic. I can make a last minute decision, and things will turn out completely fine. Other times when I took forever to make a decision it turned out to be a disaster. I believe it had to do with the fact that I overthought it too much and I didn’t view all of my options as I should’ve. It is essential to listen to what you want and not others. Nobody is living this life from day to day but you. If anyone has an issue with what you say or do, that’s their problem. You only get one life, so it’s best to live it up; however you see fit.
What are some of your thoughts after watching the movie US? What do you feel the filmmakers were trying to convey with the messages in the film? Were there things that stood out to you? Why or Why not?