Directed By: Boots Riley
Starring: LaKeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Steve Yeun, Danny Glover, Jermaine Fowler, Omari Harwick, Terry Crews, Kate Berlant, David Cross, Patton Oswalt, Armie Hammer, et.al.
Broke and living in his uncle’s garage in Oakland with his artist girlfriend, Cassius Green gets a job at RegalView, a local telemarketing firm. While there, he finds that he’s not having much luck selling the product, until an older coworker suggests Cassius use his “white voice” when speaking with customers. After an employee meeting, Cassius is told by a coworker that one of the firms’s biggest clients is a company called WorryFree, which many people believe exploits slave labor, and in an effort to keep his uncle from signing up with the company, Cassius begins using his white voice when dealing with clients until he is promoted into the higher ranks of the firm, where he learns that WorryFree is the least troubling client the firm handles. After alienating himself from his friends, Cassius attends a party at home of WorryFree’s CEO, where he learns a terrifying truth about the company, and becomes determined to bring both WorryFree and RegalView down.
I’m not gonna lie: I didn’t really get the movie the first time I watched it. That was entirely my fault, though, since I didn’t know exactly what I was getting into when I watched it. I was expecting a strait comedy where a head trauma somehow transports a telemarketer into a strange alternate universe instead of the slightly surreal social commentary where Cassius’s bandaged head isn’t much of a plot point. The story itself is interesting, and makes you wonder about some of the bigger corporations out there. It’s a little off-centering to have the strait man as the main character, but you get used to it. All the actors work well together, and they all seem to be having fun with the material. Stanfield and Thompson have a believable chemistry.
The few special effects there are seem to be okay. There’s some stuff toward the end that’s a little iffy, but I think it’s because they tried to mix practical and CGI. Any background filler isn’t noticeable.
This movie won’t appeal to everyone, but as long as you know what you’re getting yourself into, it probably wouldn’t be a waste of time to watch it at least one. Just keep reminding yourself that it’s not supposed to be entirely laugh-out-loud funny, though there are some parts, mostly the stuff involving Armie Hammer, that reach that mark. If you do decide to watch the movie, you’re going to want to pay pretty close attention. I didn’t the first time I watched it, so I wasn’t really sure what was going on half the time.
Sorry to Bother You is currently available to stream through Hulu, and it can be rented through Redbox or Netflix home delivery, or purchased at any participating store or on-line retailer.
I’m always looking for new things to watch/read, so if you have a suggestion for me, just let me know!