I like to believe that I am a kind human being who’s polite and respectful towards others. I don’t swear or disrespect language. I like to be an example people can follow. In other words, what can be better than being the best version I can be of myself? However, there are other sides of me which I am not aware of. Let’s say, what if my other version ends up in a jungle surrounded by crazy people with sinister minds? Who am I going to become – a victim or a survivor? Or, am I going to join a crowd as the only way to not get killed? All these and many other thoughts will come to the mind of a majority of viewers not only throughout the preview of Jordan Peele’s Us and even after, the same as it is happening to me now, as I scramble to find proper words to describe it.
Us, written and directed by Get Out’s Jordan Peele, follows the Wilson family that’s returned to Santa Cruz’s estate after Adelaide Wilson’s (Lupita Nyong`o) mother passes away. As soon as the family of four (Gabe Wilson, and children Zora and Jason) arrives at their final destination, they look forward to spending quality time in a beach, enjoy each other’s company, and even love life more than they do right now. But uninvited guests at their doorway that look exactly like them interrupt their plan with an attempt to kill the whole family.
The film opens with a card to remind people of the number of underground subways in the United States that exists without knowing the purpose behind that message. Then, it takes us to Santa Cruz in 1986 right in the midst of a campaign called HandsAcrossAmerica to feed hungry people. A little girl named Adelaide is outside with her parents. As they are busy looking around, the girl separates herself from them and enters a place called Shaman’s Vision Quest Find Yourself, which the little girl does exactly. Shortly after, she finds herself in a hall of mirrors, in one of them she sees a girl that looks exactly like her.
Even though the image of that girl will haunt Adelaide for many years, it is when we are back to the present time, the same girl will turn into a grown-up woman with two children, will come back to remind about herself with the most mind-blowing statement which Adelaide won’t be ready to digest. In certain scenes, everything about Us was absurd, yet through that unbelievable storyline, the film tried to deliver a message much more meaningful and bigger than the movie itself. Knowing Jordan Peele’s previous films, it helps the viewer to draw a certain image that eventually helps to build up expectations Peele’s piece eventually delivers.
In most cases, the story told in any film should not make sense at all if it is just a horror, goofy comedy, or sci-fi drama that talks about something that may happen centuries after we’re gone. But it is through films like these we learn something new because they manage to show us who we are or who we should avoid becoming at all costs. This is why Peele’s Us worked because it provides a great example of us that we know nothing about; the individuals that have no soul, with a dark reflection of the world, and a lack of understanding of human compassion. Furthermore, the people that hold back their animal side. The people that can be a great puppet if you feed their mind with certain information that will facilitate an opportunity to have control over them.
In the end, Us is a decent film with a sharp concept. It takes no hostages nor pretends to be a masterpiece. Its well-selected soundtrack, convincing performances by Elisabeth Moss and Lupita Nyong`o, and the intelligent approach of Jordan Peele help Us to climb higher in the hall of horror cinema. But more importantly, it can be interpreted in so many ways, almost in the same way as the younger version of Nyong`o finds herself in a hall of mirrors with multiple reflections of each individual person that will apply differently.
To conclude, whoever we are now, it’s up to us who want to become tomorrow – a person that does not need to read the book of law to understand and respect the fact that killing and stealing is wrong, or be like those people you see in the film, who hide underground, have no manners, are willing to take lives and careless about others – because they were made that way. In other words, who you wanna be, a person from above the surface or under? But do not rush to answer this question and wait until you see Us, as I am sure you will have a unique opinion about it, much better and more creative than mine.