Sunday, August 5, 2018

Sorry to Bother You Rreview

Sorry to Bother You was a movie that I fully intended to watch when it became available to rent because it just didn't seem a theater movie by my definition of such things. However, I have a MoviePass membership that seems intent on throwing itself into a death spiral every few days. So, I am determined to use it until it burst into flames and goes the way of the dinosaurs. With that in mind I set out to see Sorry to Bother You this week. So what's up with with this movie that appears to be biting satire of our modern age?

Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfiled, the "get out!" guy from Get Out), a guy full of ideas and deep thoughts with a slight absence of get up and go, is on hard times. He's living in his uncle's garage and has to elaborately fake his resume for job interviews. I can already hear the more judgmental of you say "oh those millennials". Through a friend he gets a prospect in a dismal telemarketing call center. He easily lands the job because they are only looking for people to take up space, sell and most importantly "stick to the script". It's all an utter failure until a fellow coworker introduces him to the "white voice" which sells like gold. It's the voice that white people believe they sound like. At this point, you'll realize you are watching a satire set in a world that is just slightly off sync from our own. The white voice works like gangbusters for Cassius and soon he is catching the eyes of the higher ups and offered a job in an elite sales team called "Power Callers". I'm going to abandon plot description here and just say that Cassius quickly finds himself in some ethical delimnas that are way above even his new high pay grade.

For a little over half of Sorry to Bother the satire and teasing of capitalism, poverty, politics and the 9th circle of hell known as the telemarketing call center flows easily with great laugh out loud moments and some more subtle "oh I see what you did there" jokes. At that point there is a twist that goes straight into sci-fi/fantasy territory. Absurd, grotesque and a little more than just scary comes to mind. I held on for the full ride and was glad to do so although the build up to the end dragged a bit. Frankly some viewers might have a WTF! moment that they never full recover from and others will see the politics of this movie as just too liberal. I give it strong, solid B though and think it's a worthy effort to inspire thought through an askew lens.

Oh wait don't go yet. I wrote this whole piece and failed to give a shout out to some really great performances. Sorry to Bother You also stars Tessa Thompson (the deceptively soothing voice of Dear White People), Steven Yen (RIP Glen you are forever missed), Armie Hammer (playing the face of evil capitalism all prettied up) and every odd ball character actor in the call center scenes.