Stop me if you’ve heard this before but if a certain film has been generating positive hype for some time, I make it a mission to see it for myself. Remember the name Boots Riley for his debut as a writer and director is a trip that will leave you flabbergasted by the end credits. This is a dream-like picture of telemarketing, unionizing, evocative artistry, embellished and ritzy slave-labor, white-voices and a disturbing new definition of the term “workhorse” in the ghastly dimension of Sorry to Bother You.
The film’s protagonist is Cassius Greene, a survivor in this alternate universe trying to make ends meet when he lands a job in the fast-paced and exciting field of telemarketing. When a co-worker offers him a tip to really land some sales, the golden elevator doors open for our down-on-his-luck hero to an opportunity that will really change his worldview. I’d go into detail further, but I don’t want to spoil the film and I don’t think you’d believe me if I went into detail.
If I had to come up with one word to describe this picture, it would be “unforgettable.” Boots Riley has an imagination so vivid, delirious and freaky, it does bother you and doesn’t apologize for doing so and I believe this picture revels in being completely unapologetic and entertaining.
What really impressed me about this picture is not only Riley’s vision and the attention to detail that went into the execution of this film but how this was written with so many cultural references, and commentary that connects with modern day society. Riley is not only imaginative but his intelligence was on full display with this film and I couldn’t help being captive to this film. There were times when I thought that this movie just ran wild and lost its direction but to my surprise it was just tied together in a way that came full-circle and I was all the more impressed with what this picture turned out to be.
The cast was great! Lakeith Stanfield was awesome in the lead role of Cassius Green, Tessa Thompson continues her rise to superstardom as the leading lady and Cassius’ love-interest Detroit, Jermaine Fowler, Terry Crews, Steven Yeun, Danny Glover, Kate Berlant, Omari Hardwick, Michael X. Sommers, Robert Longstreet, Arnie Hammer and the voices of David Cross, Patton Oswalt and Lily James all added to the mosaic madness of this picture.
Sorry to Bother You is low-budget but it has bang to its buck for the technical acumen of this film is stupendous! Doug Emmett’s cinematography is awesome, Terel Gibson’s editing is probably the best I’ve seen this year, Deidra Elizabeth Govan’s costume design and the work that the costume and wardrobe department is contributed is striking and beautiful, Stephen Dudro’s art direction was eye-candy, the production design by Jason Kisvarday is impeccable, the set decoration by Kelsi Ephraim is superb, the music, the visual effects and the animation was revelatory! This was a well-assembled motion picture.
Going into Sorry to Bother You, I knew nothing, I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know who the players behind this were but coming out, I felt that I saw a spectacle that would stay with me for long-time. Sorry to Bother You definitely lived up to the acclaim it has received and I would encourage you to see it if you believe you have a strong enough constitution!