Film Review - "Sorry to Bother You" Breaks the Mold in the Best Way Possible

Lakeith Stanfield (Cassius Green) & Tessa Thompson (Detroit)

Sorry to Bother You is one of those films you have to see to believe. Bordering the line of art-house darling and complete and utter pandemonium, the film grabs you and never let’s go. In a desperate attempt to gain steady employment, Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield) lands a job at a telemarketing firm where the rules are simple – S.T.T.S (Stick To The Script). However, that’s easier said than done when a stream of unsuccessful sales calls, leads him to adopt a “white voice”. The voice soon catapults him into the upper echelon of the company, which significantly improves his life. However, he soon learns that his new status comes at a price. Sorry to Bother You is very aware of what it is. The film never takes itself too seriously. I love that we are now in a space where art surrounding black people can be avant-garde, funny, quirky, raw, and emotional as it wants to be without creative restrictions or suppression. There is a freedom to the film that is so refreshing, and as a black audience member, it’s nice to see a film that tackles sensitive issues in a way that is not so heavy-handed.

Along with its vibrant narration, outlandish characters, and adrenaline-fueled story line, Sorry to Bother You gives a frank commentary on race and capitalism. The film is a complete roller coaster ride, and the whole time you’re wondering “How did we get here and how the hell are we getting off?” I haven’t had this much fun watching a film in a long time. If this is the kind of content Boots Riley is putting out, I cannot even fathom what else he has in store. He is an auteur with a vision that is truly unique, special, and completely his own. I hope he continues this trajectory. Sorry to Bother You will be one of the breakout films of 2018. It will spur a lot of conversation, which I feel is a true testament to the film and it’s unflinching approach to hot-button topics. The picture challenges the audience all while giving a visual kaleidoscope of pure insanity. It’s the perfect film for the summer.

Sorry to Bother You opens is out now.