Andrew_007’s review published on Letterboxd:
Saw this twice.
Originally, I thought it was one of the best things I've ever seen. Such a creative masterpiece that had something important to say. I really enjoyed peeling the layers of the story and felt very satisfied by the experience. It did help that I saw this with a group of people, so that shock reaction to some of the stuff was heightened. Keke Palmer and Daniel Kaluuya did stellar work. I couldn't really see anything wrong with it and felt like it was groundbreaking for it's genre. I was confused as to why the audience scores were so low for it because all of my friends had a blast.
Second time was similar, hence why I still love the movie, but I think a lot of problems began to emerge. It's just a very weirdly structured movie that can be really frustrating. The character arcs, themes and many of those strong moments are buried deep within the plot, really deep. It's very easy for someone to dismiss it and call it pretentious. Because as much as I like Jordan Peele, he's gotta show people he did the work before we trust in doing it too. And when that work is so hard to notice, in terms of those 3 aspects, it's not gonna look like a film worth thinking about. Now is that a bad thing? I don't know, for me, not so much. But I'm bias because I knew a lot about it going in and was able to spot out the themes pretty quickly. I guess where I'm going with this is that I now understand why it isn't performing as well and doesn't seem to be getting as positive reception as Get Out. My other problem with the film is that I don't think it gets its main message across as well as Jordan's other work. It ain't a home run. The third act is less focused than it should be. It almost turns into another movie. And as much as I think the message about the danger of spectacle and our desire to film it is interesting, the film doesn't really offer any solution. The characters we look up to get the shot at the end and put themselves in just as much risk as everyone who died doing so. What made them better? One could argue that Keke's character used coins, the object that killed her father, to take the picture. Implying that she was taking the picture for her father and his dignity vs becoming rich and famous. But that implication is so hidden and buried it's hard to really get that or even think that it was Peele's intention. If he wanted to be cryptic, that should have been his goal throughout the film, not adding scenes that feel confusing and others that describe exactly what's going on. Like I said, it's just weirdly structured and I'm curious if my observations were what influenced the overall reception towards the film.
Now I must say, even with all of this, I still think it's excellent. Because I was able to fill in those cracks of confusion which made it such a rewarding experience. I don't think it's perfect, far from it, but this type of movie is right up my alley. Jordan Peele is a masterful director, I just wish he had a clearer understanding with what he wants. Commercial or Psychological, it's nearly impossible to juggle both.