Art's Review of Sorry to Bother You
Sorry to Bother You(2018)
Black comedy that gets darker and darker (and crazier and crazier) as it proposes some "alternate reality" possibilities for late capitalism (with racial inequality simmering under the surface as a key concern). Cassius Green (LaKeith Stanfield) is a telemarketer who is seduced by the perks associated with being a "power seller" (a role he attains by using his "white voice" â" not just a nod to double consciousness but an actual voiceover by David Cross; Patton Oswalt lends his white voice to another black character). His financial success causes tension with his girlfriend, Detroit (Tessa Thompson), a local artist who also belongs to an activist group protesting against a new company, "Worry Free", who offer lifetime contracts (including food and shelter but no other wage) for their employees. That company is run by Steve Lift (Armie Hammer) who denies that he is dealing in slave labour (but Green soon finds that the power seller deals he seals are utilising Worry Free workers to make big profits for morally corrupt companies). His friends, also telemarketers (but not power sellers), are soon striking against the company in order to secure a living wage but Green remains a scab, until he stumbles onto a bizarre secret at one of Lift's parties. To say more is probably criminal â" you should enjoy the surprises this film has to offer on your own. Boots Riley may be new to directing but he has certainly grabbed the opportunity with gusto â" the film is bubbling over with (political) ideas, satire if you will, deep with meaning, but still so very freaky. Thumbs up!