Review: Us

Hi.

Ok, so: I saw Us. In theaters. Last week. If you know me personally at all, you know there are half a million things wrong with those three statements. First off, I barely watch movies on my couch, much less when I have to get dressed. If I do see a movie, it’s almost always a zillion days too late for it to still be relevant. And I once read an article that said that movie theaters were the number one place in America where people contract bed bugs and I’m sorry but life is too precious for that, people.

HOWEVER, Us – to me – isn’t a movie, it’s culture, so off to the theater I went.

I’m not going to use this post to go into all the stuff that all of us already know, like how Lupita is a queen (and, frankly, I found the entire cast and extended cast to be almost uncomfortably talented), or how Peele is here CHANGE THINGS and I’m all the way about it. I’m also not going to talk about the broader statement the movie is actually making about America (aka Us or “U.S.”) or how real I think that is.

No, instead, I will use this space and the limited time that I have your attention to ask very specific questions about very specific details pertaining to the very literal plot of this movie.

*I think this is the point where responsible journalists disclose that the rest of this post will contain spoilers, so I’m going to go ahead and say that. Although, I don’t know if the rest of this post is more riddled with spoilers or instead just a whole mess of gibberish for anyone who hasn’t seen this movie. Either way, if you haven’t seen it and plan to, maybe stop reading*

OK SO LET’S TALK ABOUT US. Because I’m brave enough to admit that I am a little confused. Here’s why:

  • I don’t understand the clones. I know that is a very, very broad statement. I think I actually maybe just said “I don’t understand the movie.
  • Specifically, I don’t understand who was making the clones. I know it was some kind of abandoned (I’m assuming government) project to try and control real humans with clone humans, but cloning people just seems so serious and where were we getting all this DNA from and how were we getting it so immediately after someone was born that the clones would literally be the exact same age as their real life humans??
  • Also re: clones…can clones have babies? This is a scientific question I have been pondering (instead of just googling) for days now. And if two real humans make a baby and two clone humans with the same DNA as those humans make a baby, would the real humans’ baby and the clone humans’ baby also be the same and have the same DNA?? Does that question make sense?? Is anybody out there?
  • Also re: clones…are the clones mimicking life above ground or are we mimicking life below ground? Like, when they showed the scene of what was happening underground during the fair scene above ground, it looked to me like the underground was mimicking the above ground. BUT, weren’t clones designed to control US?? And then the little boy seemed to be controlling his clone in the fire scene, so isn’t that example two of us controlling them instead of the other way around? Even though I know some people have a theory that the little boy actually switched places with his clone the summer before so maybe it actually was the clone doing the controlling in the fire scene…but honestly that theory is just too much for me right now and I need to crawl before I walk.
  • Also re: clones…where do they get clothes? For the sake of not mentally exhausting ourselves, I assume we can let this one slide.
  • Ok, so, moving on from how clones work…if Adelaide was switched with her clone as a little girl, why didn’t she…just…come back above ground? I mean, if a clone could do it, I would think a human little girl who misses her family and her house and the mall and stuff could do it, too?? UGH but maybe she is just a bigger thinker than I am and wanted to come back BIG or not at all. (Cue clone world domination.)
  • AND, was Adelaide getting switched some repressed memory all this time, or was she consciously and purposely keeping it all a secret? I’m sorry, but if she was actually a clone and remembered it, why the HELL would she risk going back and getting clone-captured for the sake of some family beach trip??
  • Who was that guy in the beginning with the bloody hand? I have no additional commentary to add here.
  • Did the scissors represent something or just a conveniently pointy object? I feel like scissors were FOR SURE the weapon of choice for a reason, but I totally missed what that reason is, so…onwards.
  • Why did underground Adelaide steal the little boy in that fire scene? And what was the major connection between Adelaide and the little boy, anyways? I mean, yes, maybe just, you know, the fact that moms and sons tend to love each other, but I feel like their relationship was big time special and I’m not sure if there’s a reason why??
  • Why do I keep saying “little boy” and not his actual name? Frankly, because I don’t remember it and don’t feel like opening a new window to look it up.
  • So, back to Little Boy, where did his clone learn to act like a dog? Had he ever seen a dog? Do you even have to see a dog to be able to act like one?? IF A TREE FALLS AND NO ONE IS AROUND TO HEAR IT, DOES IT EVEN MAKE A SOUND???
  • And, lastly, was this all just designed to be an allegory in the first place, representative of macro issues and not micro details? Yep, probably!

 

Oh well. I still hope it wins all the Oscars

 

Xo Charlene

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