“Unite, Fight, or Flee”
A Review of “Sorry to Bother You”
Recommendation: 3 Stars, STREAM
Director: Boots Riley, Writer: Boots Riley, Starring: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler
Plot: In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success, propelling him into a macabre universe.
Review: On the surface, “Sorry to Bother” has a theme I can get behind. Starring, Lakeith Stanfield as Cassius Green, the film focuses on a young, African-American male in an alternate present-day Oakland. Cassius is barely making ends meet. Living in his uncle’s garage, jobless, and directionless, he decides to pursue a career in telemarketing where the only way to sell anything is by using your “white voice.”
From here, this quirky and hilarious movie reveals its theme. We learn this is truly a movie about the global elite, our new economy, and a loss of identity as one accumulates more success and wealth. The film takes a unique approach to this path by focusing on Cassius’ talent versus his fellow employees who are plotting a union. At one of the major turning points in the movie, it becomes Cassius’ decision to unite, fight, or flee. His decision has grave consequences for himself and his community.
And then… Something happens. As we enter into the last third of the movie, everything changes. I won’t say much, but there are horse-people. You read that right, horse-people. This wonderfully, funny and excellent movie enters into the absurd. On one hand, I understand what the writer/director Boots Riley was trying to do. The film is trying to serve as a platform to speak about the commodification of workers, the loss of rights in the workplace, and a society that chases the almighty dollar. On the other hand, horse-people.
At the end of the day, I, in good faith, cannot recommend you spend your hard-earned dollars on this film, but I do recommend it next time you are scrolling endlessly through a Netflix list of films. The first 2/3 of this movie are really worth that much.
Be good to each other,
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