Last weekend I went to go see Get Out because it came highly recommended to me from several different people. I was excited to see it for several reasons, the main one being that it was written and directed by Jordan Peele and I love everything about that man. The other reason was that I was hearing a lot about how race and social norms play a massive role in this film. So long story short I went to go see the movie and I really loved it but there were a few things that bothered me about this movie.
Brain Surgery & Hypnosis
When we get to the really interesting and messed up part of the movie, Chris wakes up strapped to a chair and learns that the family has perfected a method of pseudo-immortality. This is where Dean, the neurosurgeon, performs brain surgery to transplant the consciousness of his friends and family into the bodies of younger black people who have been hypnotized by Missy. Now I could spend all day pulling apart pseudo-immortality and how it is technically possible but no one has done it yet because as we clearly see in this movie, it’s pretty messed up.
In the movie, it is explained that the host’s brain will be partially replaced by the new parts of the brain from the white person. Then the black person/ host will live out the rest of their life in “the sunken place,” which is where their hypnotized consciousness goes. Then Chis discovers that if he flashes them with his camera the original person comes to the surface until they are again hypnotized back down to the sunken place to let the white person’s consciousness shine through once more. All of this makes sense if you are looking at it from the surface and throughout the movie, that aspect kept irking me.
Before I go any further, let’s explore the human brain for a second and figure out which part of the brain does what.
Parts of the Brain
There are 4 major components of the brain, the Frontal Lobe, Parietal Lobe, Occipital Lobe, and the Temporal Lobe.
The Frontal Lobe is associated with reasoning, planning, parts of speech, movement, orientation, recognition, and perception of stimuli. The Parietal Lobe is associated with movement, orientation, recognition, and perception of stimuli, as well. Then we have the Occipital Lope which controls the visual processing. Finally, we have the Temporal Lobe which is associated with perception, recognition of audio stimuli, memory, and speech.
Long story short if you were going to transplant the brain of one human to the other you would need the whole thing. Now in the movie Jim (the guy who bought Chris) explains to him that all Chis will be left with is his original brain stem and that allegedly is where Chris will live in “the sunken place.”
However, the brain stem is responsible for basic vital life functions such as breathing, heartbeat, and blood pressure. So we obviously can’t remove that which is why it makes sense that stays. My problem is the brain stem is too simple to hold the consciousness of an entire person. Meaning that when Chis’ brain leaves his body so does Chis. Chris can not be any kind of alive because everything that he was just got removed. Think of it like Freaky Friday, they literally switched bodies…. only in this scenario one of them dies.
Now you could argue that they don’t remove Chis’ brain… even though in the movie they literally say that is exactly what they are going to do. But you can’t have 2 brains in one cranium, there just isn’t enough room.
So my problem with this movie is not the possibility of the surgery or is hypnotizing really works, it’s that hypnotizing can’t work on a brain that isn’t there anymore. If Missy hypnotized Chis’ brain then that brain has removed the flash of the camera would have no affect on the new white person brain because it was never hypnotized.
That is basically what I was thinking about the entire movie…. my mother and I got into this massive argument over this because according to her “It’s just a movie not everything is like the real world.” To be honest, she is right, I don’t have a problem with Star Wars, Marvel, Avatar, or really any other Sci-Fi movie because it is all about consistancy. If you create a world, that world has to have rules and everything in the world has to follow those rule. Meaning if I want to create a world where people can breathe in outerspace that is fine but I can’t have one scene where the characters are without space helments and one with space helmets.
This movie, on the other hand, is set in present day in our world. So they have to follow the rules of our world and in our world, if you take a hypnotized brain out of a body and completely replace it with a new unhypnotized brain, then when a camera flashes the consciousness from the old brain can not appear again because it is no longer there.
I desperately tried to have this make sense but it just doesn’t. So if you think you have a way for this scenario to make sense I would love to hear it.