By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
“Sorry to Bother You,”
the new dramedy from up and coming Oakland, California director/rapper Raymond Lawrence Riley, a.k.a. “Boots Riley”
is without a doubt, one of the oddest, yet most fascinating movies I’ve seen so far this year.
Since its debut at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, “Sorry to Bother You” has received tremendous buzz and for good reason. It’s original and unapologetically daring with its searing political take on racial and social issues.
“Sorry to Bother You” is this year’s “Get Out” only crazier. The movie stars San Bernardino native, Lakeith Stanfield who was also in “Get Out.” Stanfield is currently on the hit, TV series “Atlanta” too.
Here, Stanfield plays Cassius "Cash" Green, an unemployed, but driven young man who lives in his uncle’s (Terry Crews, “Deadpool 2” and TV’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) garage with his supportive, artist girlfriend Detroit (Tessa Thompson, “Creed” and TV’s “Westworld”).
Cassius lies his way into an interview and eventually gets a job as a telemarketer at a company in Oakland called RegalView selling encyclopedias with his friend Salvador (Jermaine Fowler, TV’s “Superior Donuts” and “The 5th Quarter”).
Cassius can’t get an ad out of his head that he sees regularly for a company called WorryFree. They tout a life free of worry from paying bills. The catch is a lifetime contract with them.
The CEO of WorryFree is an eccentric billionaire named Steve Lift, (A funny and terrific Armie Hammer, “Call Me by Your Name”).
Steve essentially gives people housing and food in exchange for them working in his factories. It’s a form of slavery and he has no shame in his game.
Naturally, not everyone agrees with the policies and practices of WorryFree. A protest group called “The Left Eye” makes their feelings known by vandalizing their advertisements.
Meanwhile, all Cassius wants to do is get paid and get out of the crummy garage and that old broken-down car he has to drive.
But, he’s having a heck of time selling to customers. That changes when an older coworker named Langston (Danny Glover, “Proud Mary”) tells Cassius that if he wants to succeed and be a top salesman, he’ll need to use his “white voice” when he talks to customers.
Well, Cassius does tap into his inner white boy (voiced by David Cross, TV’s “Goliath” and “Archer”).
Sure enough, he becomes the top salesman at the company. That means Cassius is ready to go hang with the elite crew on the top floor which includes working with the dapper Mr. (Omari Hardwick, TV’s “Power”).
Cassius is on board initially. Then he sees that his money driven success is coming between his relationship with Detroit. It’s also making the rest of his colleagues he started out with question his loyalty.
Cassius’ co-worker Squeeze (Steve Yuen, “Voltron”) was counting on him to help lead efforts to organize the workers into a union. Cassius says he can be down for their cause and root for them from the sideline.
Still, the more Cassius rises within the company, he starts to see some things within it that are eye-opening and gives him pause.
Does Cassius do the right thing and walk away and go back to his humble beginnings? Well, that story morphs into something much more in “Sorry to Bother You.”
Just when you think “Sorry to Bother You” is going to be a lightweight, urban comedy, it veers into a bizarre sci-fi and fantasy drama.
“Sorry to Bother You” is the type of movie you just have to see to believe. But, even then you may not believe what you’ve seen.
It’s that different. It’s also riveting. I guarantee you’ll be talking about “Sorry to Bother You” long after you leave the theater.
Be sure to catch my N2Entertainment.net movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays at 6:40 p.m. on radio station KFBK 1530 AM and 93.1 FM.
Check Out This Trailer For "SORRY TO BOTHER YOU"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (BFCA), the Black Reel Awards Voting Academy and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.