In this bizarrely entertaining indie film, an African American telemarketer finds they key to success through using a “white voice” to make sales, propelling him into higher job responsibilities and towards being a “power caller”. The power callers work upstairs and only the most talented make their way up there, but when Cassius makes his way to stardom, his life takes a dramatic turn that affects both him and the lives around him. The plot takes many unexpected turns from there and the film transforms into a bizarre acid trip that both intrigues and confuses. “Sorry to Bother You” is much more than it seems and once you witness the film for yourself, it’ll be evident why this is the most unique film of the year so far.
Lakeith Stanfield plays Cassius, the insecure telemarketer who eventually finds himself on top of the telemarketing agency. Many know the actor from his small performance in Jordan Peele’s “Get Out”, the most successful horror movie of last year. After starring in the Oscar-winning film, Stanfield now has the ability to breakout through different roles, and his role in “Sorry to Bother You” will put him on the map for years to come.
The film also stars Tessa Thompson (“Westworld”, “Annihilation”) as Detroit, Cassius’s girlfriend. Thompson gives a great performance as well, one that also stands out from her pervious roles. The remaining cast of “Sorry to Bother You” also consists of Jermaine Fowler, Omari Hardwick, Terry Crews, Danny Glover, Kate Berland, Steve Yeun, Michael X. Sommers, and Armie Hammer. The two “white voices” are conveyed by Patton Oswalt and David Cross.
“Sorry to Bother You” is writer/director Boots Riley’s first feature film. He is previously known for his rapping talents and now it looks like the rapper has a clear talent for direction. It’s easy to tell that it’s his first film with its questionable editing decisions, but it’s nevertheless a film with plenty of talent behind it.
Riley’s movie is a combination of multiple genres, mixing comedy, drama, romance, fantasy and science-fiction all into one nightmarish social-commentary. Like “Get Out” this film mixes humor with messages about the real world. Only this time, “Sorry to Both You” focuses much more on capitalism than race. However, the humor is at its peak throughout most of the movie through its dialogue, situations and its absurdly weird plot points. Towards the last third of the film, “Sorry to Bother You” turns into a completely different type of movie but seemed to get there with ease. Strangely, the theme shift works perfectly without ruining the rest of the film.
The film gets more and more dreamlike as the film continues, making audiences wonder if what they’re watching is actually happening or not. Scene by scene, the movie builds up its strange personality, until the end where it all comes crashing together. It works well on an entertainment level with its comedy and outlandish plot, while acting as a bit of a thinker as well. “Sorry to Bother You” definitely isn’t a film for everyone but for those who watch it, it will be an experience at the very least.
Rated R for pervasive language, some strong sexual content, graphic nudity, and drug use