There is a lot to unpack with this movie. “Sorry To Bother You” is widely original. First of all it can not be stressed enough that you should do yourself a favor and experience it on your own. If nothing else it’s a conversation starter, it will get people thinking and get people talking.
The film is really an abstract viewpoint on so many relatable topics. Some movies can feel like 3 or 4 separate sections of one cohesive story, this feels like about 15. So many people dread going to a dead end job that brings no meaning to their life. We all aspire to be more and feel destine for a grander purpose. “Sorry To Bother You” feels very raw and true while also being outlandishly absurd at the same time.
We follow along with Cassius Green, played by Lakeith Stanfield from the incredible FX show “Atlanta.” He’s down on his luck broke and needing a job to keep living in his uncles garage. Both him and his girlfriend Detroit, played by President of the United States Tessa Thompson, seem destine to do more with life. Intellectual, artistic and creative… but not going anywhere. Cassius lands and job as a telemarketer for ‘Regal View.’ Detroit soon follows, while still primarily focusing on her art gallery.
“Sorry To Bother You” perfectly portrays tropes of the shitty bosses, the weird co-workers, the awful office atmosphere. Cassius gets some sage advice from a much older and wiser employee to use his ‘White Voice.’ This is where things really start too kickoff.
‘Regal View’ is run by Steven Lift, played by your typical hunk Armie Hammer. Lift also runs ‘Worry Free’ which is a program that allows people to live and eat stress free by singing a lifetime contract. Its clearly slavery, yet millions of people gladly and willingly sign up. That is a testament to how desperate and foolish a lot of Americans are right now.
Eventually becoming so good to rise to the ranks of a ‘Power Caller’ and making unreasonably good money, Cassius must choose between what is morally the right thing to do… Get this money doing blatantly obvious awful things or go on strike with his friends and coworkers to get fair and equal pay for all.
Now obviously this is a very short and sweet summary of an absurd and complex plot. This movie has so many layers and subtle nuances it’s hard to keep track of everything that’s going on. Some might say that the film is sloppy and all over the place but I would argue that this is done purposefully to add yet another element to this zany universe the film takes place in.
Beautifully shot, witty dialog, unique edits… This film has all the makings of instantly becoming a cult classic. The movie moves at a breakneck pace. It feels like an acid trip in the best way. Simultaneously philosophical and scattered brain. It throws a lot at the wall and mostly all of it sticks. While it’s not perfect, for first time writer and director Boots Riley its impressive none the less.
“Sorry To Bother You” is a unique satire of working class America. It touches on a wide spectrum of socioeconomic class, race, relationships, greed, ethics and the culture of a modern day workplace. While it might not be easy to understand and some might not get the message or the humor, I’d still recommend this movie anyone… Simply because I’ve never seen anything like it before.