Strap in, Keep an Open Mind
The film Sorry to Bother You was a trip to say the least. This is the story of an African American man in an alternative reality trying to make a living whilst having to bend into a societal representation of “white”. It’s funny but it is also a very, very strong message on race in America.
Cassius Green, portrayed by the incredibly talented LaKeith Stanfield (a personal favorite), needs to pay back his uncle for some rent. He needs a job, and not just for that. This leads him to get a job as a telemarketer. Yeah, those phone calls you get all the time, trying to sell you something you definitely don’t want? This film is about one of those guys. Sort of. That’s kind of just the vessel for the films message, and let me tell you it’s incredibly clever. Cassius is a black man, but the only way he finds success is by changing his voice to sound white. It’s ridiculous in concept, and looks ridiculous on screen because it isn’t even LaKeith Stanfield’s voice. To say he finds success is an understatement, as his talent propels him to the top of the industry.
Cassius gets money and fame within his workplace. This pulls him away from his girlfriend, friends and coworkers, who without finding success like Cassius decide to go on strike. It becomes a national news story and Cassius is thrown in the center of it, having betrayed people who relied on him. It’s a very powerful and real story of material possession over human relationships.
A very powerful moment is a scene of Performance Art by Tessa Thompson’s character called Detroit. Moments like these make me love filmmaking because it can involve so many different forms of art.
Overall, I haven’t said too much about the film or spoiled it, because I want you to watch it. The cinematography is great, the messaging is powerful and the acting is very, very good. Get ready for the twist. Would I watch it again? Certainly. I’m sure the next time I watch it, I’ll learn something else from it. Should you watch it? Make yourself aware of certain content warnings (nudity, violence) and if you’e okay with that, go ahead and watch it.