Us (2019): Film Review
When Jordan Peele first announced he was directing a feature "thriller" film, the whole world was taken by surprise. The known comedian's (famous for his performance in Key & Peele) directorial skills were completely unknown until his debut, Get Out, shocked the world with it's brutal realism and high film skills. The film went on to become a global hit, earning four Academy Award nominations (and winning one) and making 255 million worldwide (on a meager budget of 4.5 million dollars). The world was ready to see what Jordan Peele had next in store, hoping that it would at least not fall into the sophomore "jinx" that most directors face after their first film is a surprise hit. Thankfully, I can assure you that the jinx has been avoided - as Peele's Us is a marvel of cinema, forcing a new story, new twists, and new revelations upon the audience in perfect fashion. The film tells the story of a family staying in their beach house for the summer when suddenly, in the middle of the night, a family clad in red robes stands in their driveway, remaining motionless and silent. As these "intruders" begin to take over the house, the family realize that there is more to the story who meet the eye. The intruders are simply the reflections of the family members, and the only way to survive is to kill them. And such, Us begins, taking it's audience on a whirling roller coaster filled with twists, turns, and just about everything in between. Once again, Peele defies all expectations by proving that he is an absolute natural in both directing and screenwriting. The script is laced with all of these little details that add up in odd yet satisfying ways, leaving the viewer demanding for more by time the credits start rolling. I found the metaphors in Us to be a lot more beneath the surface than Get Out, which is truly saying a lot. An hour after I first witnessed the film and I am still thinking about every little second of the film and how each very scene was essential to maintaining the structure and balance of the overall story. All of the performances are absolutely fantastic, and N'yongo especially shines in the central role of the film, imitating both of her characters in a perfect acting job. Throughout her career, she has truly shown that she is one of the best working actors of our time, and Us merely serves as another piece of evidence to back up that point. Although I am not going to go into details and spoilers, as I think everyone deserves to see this film with a fresh mind (it should be that way with all movies), I am just going to say one thing - you are not ready. No matter what you think of the film during it, forget all that. If a scene feels irrelevant, just keep it in your mind, because by the time the end credits roll, every single scene in the film will make complete sense. That right there, the raw skill and flair for perfection, is what makes Us, and Jordan Peele's directorial career, so special. The sophomore jinx was not an issue. And personally, I cannot wait to see what Peele has in store next for us.