a SORRY TO BOTHER YOU musing
With all the buzz coming out of Sundance 2018, I was excited to experience what I expected to be a weird/wild ride. And that’s exactly what I got. Without spoiling too much, SORRY TO BOTHER YOU features Lakeith Stanfield as Cassius “Cash” Green getting a job in a telemarketing company and working his way up to be a ‘Power Caller,’ while the rest of the people on his floor attempt to unionize.
From there, the story goes into wild territory that fulfilled my insanity quota. At first I wasn’t into it, but thematically it all fit for me. You can see where first-time writer/director Boots Riley had trouble with the story, as the split is pretty obvious, but somehow it all coalesced.
To me, the movie is really about minorities trying to be more white (to the extent that the telemarketers have a ‘white voice’ so the customers feel more comfortable on the phone) in order to rise up. One of the Power Callers is the only non-white person in the group, and constantly talks in his white voice, even outside the workplace to fit in. This certain Power Caller is ostracized and looked down upon for integrating. *MILD SPOILER WARNING* Cash takes the offer to become a Power Caller and chooses not to unionize so that he can use his white voice to move up and improve his life. *END SPOILERS*
SORRY TO BOTHER YOU also tackles themes of activism, along with the effects of assimilation. It’s a surprisingly potent story that is, most importantly, wildly funny and bitingly satirical. It’s a weird movie that won’t connect with everyone and won’t be universally loved by people, but I found enough in the story to love it!
RATING: BEST OF THE BEST
(Refer to my rating system HERE!)