Boots Riley is the writer/director of this movie and it is his first feature film. Riley is a rapper/activist who apparently has some serious opinions to share. You can tell because he spares no topic in the satire called Sorry To Bother You.
The film stars Lakeith Stanfield as Cassius Green who is in desperate need for a job so he applies at a telemarketing company. He struggles with the job until co-worker Danny Glover drops a hint for him. He says to use his “white voice.” The white voice was something that Cassius could do tremendously well and it made him unbelievably successful at the company. In fact, he is promoted to the position of “powercaller” upstairs. His new massive success gets him invited to a high brow party thrown by CEO Steve Lift (Armie Hammer) where everything explodes.
That’s about all I can tell you because if I were to spoil this movie, you would not believe me. The film was rocking along until that party and then EVERYTHING WENT NUTS! And that is in a good way.
This film is satirizing all kinds of topics from the world today: racial tensions, unions, fake celebrities, Americans’ viewing habits, large companies, SPIN controlling the thoughts of people, Capitalism, art, relationships, the news media… there is probably more here, but it is all just blasting at you that it is hard to remember them all. That might be a bit of a problem for the film where if they had focused on one or two, the message might have been clearer.
However, the presentation of this was just so amazingly provided that I almost wouldn’t want it any different. I heard a lot of critics compare this to the film Swiss Army Man, and that tone/feeling of this movie does bring that to mind. I loved Swiss Army Man, by the way so that is a huge compliment from me. However, I know that Swiss Army Man was and I would expect Sorry to Bother You will be polarizing for the public because the ideas are presented in a manner in which they are not expecting. I found it remarkably original and courageous, but many may find it pretentious.
Tessa Thompson is here as well, playing Cassius’s girlfriend, Detroit. She is a great character as well, who takes a stand for the working people, though may not necessarily be as much of a supporter as she thinks she is.
There are scenes in this movie that you will not believe that you are seeing in a regular film. It is so over-the-top that I left the theater with the letters WTF stuck in my head. I loved a movie was able to create that uncertainty in me and do it with a creative manner than I had never seen before. Honest to God, the film started in one path and suddenly changed paths midway through. I did not see it coming and it was wonderful. There were scenes that I could not believe I was laughing at.
Great performances from all the cast, including some great cameos and voice overs, unbelievable twists and turns, and a satire over just about everything that can be satirized. Sorry To Bother You is a great film that takes HUGE risks and I hope it pays off.