Yesterday, a number of sites featured the alternative ending for box office smash “Get Out.” The current ending features film protagonist Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) choking his once girlfriend (Alison Williams) when a cop car pulls up. Chris raises his hands in surrender, but the body that emerges from the car is Chris’s TSA employed friend Rod (Lil Res Howery).
This ending succeeds for the following reasons:
- It allows the unashamed intellect to assume central placement in a scenario he predicted. So, in short, this depiction brings the story full circle.
- It is both realistic and fantastical: Realistically, we know that the police department is not going to over-extend themselves in search of a young black man—so Rod embarking on a one man journey to find his friend is an unfortunate truth. This is also fantastical because it is unlikely that Chris would not face charges for his actions to free himself.
- This brings me to the third reason why the current ending is function. The current ending is functional because it does not require any contemplation beyond the credits. The current ending provides the readers with a “feel good” moment so resounding that the historical allusion to antebellum bodies used for medical experimentation fades in feeling like the odds have shifted to favor of the oppressed.
In contrast, the alternate ending shows an incarcerated Chris conversing with Rod from a maximum security prison. Rod visits his friend to uncover more details about the case, but Chris is rigid and accepting of his fate. Chris’ behavior proves eerily reminiscent of Bigger Thomas—the protagonist of Richard Wright’s 1940 novel Native Son. As a black man who accidentally murdered a young white woman in a grisly sequence of fear-induced events, Thomas shunned all fictive hope and accepts a fate that seemed to follow him his entire life.
The alternative ending possess a similar darkness to Wright’s novel, yet exposes a rare light seen in few black bodies throughout western trajectory. This rare light illuminated in blacks like Nat Turner who incited a rebellion against southern slave owners in 1831. In this alternate ending, Chris, like Turner, knows the consequences that awaits a black man who attempts to improve the lives of his collective, and takes said consequence as an informal trophy of his achievement.
This alternative ending’s omisison results from a failure to appease a preconscious audience in the same manner as the current ending—illustrating that the film’s primary purpose is not to familiarize audience with an under-discussed horror of slavery, but to present audiences with a “happily every after.” .
Blacks who covet the western dynamic of a “happily every after” are easily controlled because they seek a conventional reward for their actions. Any action that will lead to the liberation of African people solely constitutes western consequence- and that is what the alternative ending illustrates to an audience filled with those seeking to escape realities they believe to encompass the world outside the movie theatre. This suggests that maybe it is not Chris that has to “get out” of a contemporary plantation, but the contemporary mind that must abandon a dependency on a fantasy.
This dependency leaves many blacks disappointed and disillusioned proving the alternative ending is better for blacks. Although the western world benefits from beliefs of the contrary, black life is not about that “feel good” feeling. The quest for this “feel good” feeling imbues physical and materialistic gluttony, fueling the contemporary enslavement of black bodies.
The film paints its protagonist in the image of a contemporary “hero,” whereas the alternative ending paints Chris as a traditional hero. The contemporary hero gains where the traditional hero lost, but it is the traditional hero that possessed the height of black existence. The height of black existence is not found in conventional gain but realizing that freedom is not free, but worth any an all consequences it might incur.
So director Jordan Peele can state that because “the world shifted” and the world “needed a hero” he had to change the ending, but the conscious community knows Peele changed the ending to thwart any chance of the black world having a hero, or even finding a hero within themselves. Instead he choose to cash out, and appease his master. The outcome? A number one movie and bragging rights due to Get Out being Peele’s directorial debut.
However, what Peele could have done with this moment and his obvious talent, was so much more.
Check out this link to view the alternative ending: http://decider.com/2017/05/30/get-out-alternate-ending/
What are your thoughts?