Monday, July 23, 2018

Movie Review: "Sorry to Bother You" (2018)

Director: Boots Riley
Year: 2018
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

A telemarketer discovers a technique that propels him to the top of the telemarketing game where he enters a world of money and moral corruption.

"I feel incompetent, like an asshole doing this job." (Image Source)
"Sorry to Bother You" is a movie unlike any we have seen. This film marks the feature writing and directorial debut of Boots Riley. The story focuses on a man named Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield), who lives in his uncle's garage in Oakland, CA with his artist girlfriend Detroit (Tessa Thompson). Cassius is struggling at his new telemarketer position until he learns that if he talks more like a 'white guy,' customers are more likely to listen to him and he is more likely to make a sale. From that point on, Cassius becomes a top salesman in his company, where he is offered a promotion to a division where he can make a lot of money but may have to compromise his morals to do so. What makes things worse is his success is causing friction with his friends and co-workers, who are struggling to form a union for better pay and benefits. Cassius's new-found prosperity may also be damaging to his relationship with the socially conscious Detroit.
"You have a white voice in there. Use it." (Image Source)
It's difficult to accurately describe the true experience of watching a movie like "Sorry To Bother You." On the one hand, it is a darkly comedic and socially conscious satire. On the other hand, it is so much more bizarre and "out there" than we could have ever expected. Boots Riley has made an interest, unusual, distinctive, incredible movie. It is so boldly bonkers at times that we know some viewers will not get on board with what is going on. It goes along its runtime as one thing until it has a twist, and then the twist takes a turn. Even in all of its wackiness, there is still a point to it all. Its message is delivered in a very engaging, compelling, and equally batshit absurd way.

Lakeith Stanfield gives a fabulous performance as Cassius Green. With each performance he gives, Stanfield continues to prove what an astounding talent he is. The same can also be said for Tessa Thompson. Not only is she amazing in this film, but her wardrobe is incredible, too. Detroit's clothes are a huge part of her character, from her glitter-encrusted penis earrings to her t-shirt that reads "The Future is Female Ejaculation." She's stylish, she's real, she's an individual. We loved each interaction she and Cassius share together, and we loved each second they were alone on-screen. Armie Hammer, Steven Yeun, Jermaine Fowl, David Cross, Rosario Dawson, and Patton Oswalt are also magnificently cast.

This film deals with very relevant social issues like the exploitation of the worker and how corporate America continues to find ways to make people work harder for perpetually less pay, recognition, and praise. It shows how huge conglomerates and companies place a minuscule value on their workers in the hope that they get complacent enough to forget they are basically outsourced cheap labor. It details how our capitalistic system exploits and manipulates and enslaves workers into believing that if they always do just a little bit more, they will eventually be rewarded. It also deals with the idea of how many African Americans have to sacrifice who they are, including their personhood, their voices, their bodies, their morals, and their culture, to be successful in work and society. It implies that assimilation into 'white culture' is required for a person of color to make it in business. It also tries to lampoon many stereotypes and preconceived notions we may have about people who are percieved as "different" than we are.
"The old you was way more interesting." (Image Source)
In the end, we may not be entirely sure about what it is we saw while watching "Sorry to Bother You," but we absolutely loved it. It is the type of film that keeps evolving the longer it goes on. It is witty, poignant, smart, and well put together. This is awesome in every possible way. The acting, the directing, the sharp writing, the eccentric, eclectic costumes, the score, its uniqueness, its message, everything about it is marvelous, horrific, and unforgettable. GO SEE THIS FILM NOW!!!

My Rating: 10/10
BigJ's Rating: 9.5/10
IMDB's Rating: ~7.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ~95%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!

**Did you know we have a podcast? Check out the episode where we discuss "Sorry to Bother You" right here! Our review starts at 19:40!

Please be sure to check out Lolo Loves Films all over the internet!

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