I’m writing this review with images in my mind that I think will be there for a while. As I continue to analyze this movie for criticism, I’m left with a need for a deep dive into our culture, our history and our (possible) future. Sorry to Bother You is a movie that I had expectations of when I sat down to watch it, those expectations were shattered, and I was quick to realize that it is a modern day sci-fi parable with ample to teach and reflect on.
Sorry to Bother You is a movie about a young man, Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield), is hard up for work. The film begins with showing us his desperation for the job we as the audience will quickly understand to be the bottom of the barrel. He fights his way through the slough of dead endedness that his career offers and strives for the promotion to the top, literally. He quickly becomes the top salesmen at the telemarketing company and moves into the Power Caller department, where Green earns top dollar and the lifestyle he’s always wanted.
Along the way, his friends begin a union for the company employees, and his girlfriend prepares for her gallery opening. These relationships become strained when Green must start becoming someone new to live up to his potential, even to the point of a very, passive aggressive, argument between Green and his best friend.
All while in the background of the world they live in, an unrest for human inequality and sociopath-like disregard for life begins to boil. Green is quickly taken out of his comfort zone and tossed into the fray with a meeting between he and a CEO that wants his help.
The third act of this movie of takes the world that we are introduced to and spins it on its head. Giving a gritty and sometimes stomach dropping experience that leaves viewers with questions of, “Wait, what just happened?” and, “Uh, did you… did you just see that?”
The ability of the cast and crew to legitimize and demean the extortionary situation that Green finds himself in is so good that it almost goes without notice, which is almost the point, of course. We walk through the experience of Green being poverty stricken, and not just himself but the people around him that he loves.
We feel the pain that he feels when he says, “Forty on tank two,” to the gas attendant, then hands her forty cents, ’cause that’s all he’s got. We hate him when he chooses his company over his family, the people that propelled him to get the job in the first place. We scream with him when he sees a horror beyond compare and realizes that he might be closer to it than he thinks.
Sorry to Bother You is a well written, well produced, well directed and well acted piece of art that belongs on the list of classics with The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Time Machine, 1984 and Frankenstein.
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