Is It Possible Not To Be Considered Black Enough?

  • A review of the movie Get Out.
  • Controversy behind Daniel Kaluuya taking on the role.

Our story today is drawn from a topic that is very familiar to most of our readers. It is drawn from the now famous movie Get Out. This fantastically twisted and addictively entertaining horror-satire on the subject of race plays like an Ira Levin rewrite of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner but highlights the black race .

Daniel Kaluuya.

Review of Get Out.

British actor Daniel Kaluuya is Chris, the black boyfriend of Rose, a beautiful young white woman played by Allison Williams (from Lena Dunham’s series Girls). They’ve dating for a few months and she plans to take Chris back to her family home to meet her hugely wealthy and excruciatingly liberal parents Dean and Missy (wonderfully played by Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener), a surgeon and psychotherapist, respectively. Rose predicts that her embarrassingly well-meaning dad will assure Chris that he would have voted for Obama a third time if that was possible.

Daniel Kaluuya in one of the scenes of Get Out.

But when Chris arrives at their colossal home, he is deeply disconcerted to find that Rose’s family, though impeccably progressive, are surrounded by black staff, who lock eyes with the family’s honoured guest with glacial correctness. (Watching the movie, I found myself thinking of Michael Gove’s legendary, gushing description of arriving for his interview with Donald Trump last year: he was whisked up to the president-elect’s office in a lift plated with reflective golden panels and operated by an immensely dignified African-American attendant kitted out in frock coat and white gloves.”)

It so happens that the young couple’s visit coincides with a big family get together, and the hospitality becomes more and more unsettling. Get Out is very creepy, very funny and as pitiless as a surgeon’s scalpel. However, the focus was diverted more to who took the leading role; Daniel Kaluuya.

Who is Daniel Kaluuya?

Daniel Kaluuya was born on 8 May 1989 in London, the son of Ugandan immigrants. He attended St Aloysius College, London. Kaluuya’s early roles included Reece in the BBC’s controversial drama Shoot the Messenger.

Kaluuya then joined the original cast of Skins as Posh Kenneth and was a contributor on the first two series, as well as being a staff writer, and the head writer of the second series episode “Jal” and third series episode “Thomas“. He also presented the Skins Podcast (also called Skinscast).

British Black Actor on the red carpet.

After Skins, Kaluuya appeared as a guest star in many established series such as Silent Witness, the Doctor Who special Planet of the Dead and Lewis. He has also appeared in the sketch show That Mitchell and Webb Look twice and the sketch show Harry and Paul.  Kaluuya starred in the lead role, Chris Washington, in the horror film Get Out, which was released in theaters on February 24, 2017.In December 2016, Kaluuya was cast in the Marvel Studios movie Black Panther. The film is due to be released in 2018.

Samuel L. Jackson hits at the Get out Star.

Upon the release of Get Out, famous Actors like Samuel L. Jackson came out to condemn the fact that the role would have been portrayed better by an American black actor. He noted that the use of the British actor left a lot to be desired since he has never had to go through what black Americans did during the times when racism was on a high.

Samuel L. Jackson one of the greatest black American actors.

Samuel also pointed out his concern that Hollywood was looking more towards the British actors for major roles that the American bred actors. However critics claim that it is easier to work with the British actors because they have a theater background which gives them the edge and the talent it requires to conform into the sort of artist that can make a huge impact in the movie industry.

Daniel Kaluuya responds to Samuel L. Jackson.

In an interview with GQ, Kaluuya criticized the notion that he could somehow not fully understand the plight of African-Americans due to his nationality, commenting, “I resent that I have to prove that I’m black. In order to prove that I can play this role, I have to open up about the trauma that I’ve experienced as a black person,” Kaluuya said. Kaluuya was reacting to Samuel L. Jackson’s musings on whether or not having an American in the role of a black man meeting his girlfriend’s liberal, white, racist family would have made the film different somehow.

During one of the scenes in the movie Get Out.

“I’m dark-skinned, bro. When I’m around black people I’m made to feel ‘other’ because I’m dark-skinned,” he added. “I’ve had to wrestle with that; with people going ‘You’re too black.’ Then I come to America and they say, ‘You’re not black enough.’ I go to Uganda, I can’t speak the language. In India, I’m black. In the black community, I’m dark-skinned. In America, I’m British.”Kaluuya also compared the situation to the plot of “Get Out,” in which black people are often made to speak for their race. “Just because you’re black, you taken and used to represent something,” he said. “It mirrors what happens in the film.”It is surely something to think about.

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