“Lemme give you a tip, you wanna make some money here? Use your white voice.”
It’s being called 2018’s sharpest political satire, required viewing for every American, and once you watch it, you’ll understand why.
Initially, I wasn’t sure if I fully enjoyed this movie, but the more I let it sink it, the more it resonated. Don’t get me wrong…I enjoyed the first two acts of the film immensely, but I got a little lost somewhere in the horse-hybrid third act.
In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, telemarketer Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield) discovers a magical key to professional success, propelling him into a universe of greed.
Sorry to Bother You has received largely positive reviews from critics, who have praised the cast and concept, as well as Boots Riley’s script and direction.
Riley’s screenplay for Sorry to Bother You was inspired by his own time working as a telemarketer and telefundraiser in California, and his need to put on a different voice to find success.
Both longtime activist and lead vocalist for the hip-hop group, The Coup, Boots Riley is no stranger to politically charged art. He also wasn’t shy about liking my less-than-impressed tweet about his debut feature that he wrote and directed (I still feel slightly embarrassed for not absolutely loving it).
“In the world of film we’ve edited out all rebellion. We’re supposed to be showing representations of life, and whether the main characters in those worlds agree with it or not, there’s rebellion that’s happening in the world. It’s edited out. It’s replaced by other mundane things that aren’t really in our world, like noontime café dates.There is also a group of people, like 10 percent, that don’t like [the movie]. Here’s the thing — they don’t hate it because of the politics, they hate it because of the twist in it.” Boots Riley via Jacobin
One of the greatest components about this movie is it’s tremendous ensemble cast…specifically Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson and Armie Hammer. I’ve been raving about Lakeith Stanfield (Atlanta) since his small role in Short Term 12…I even boldly suggested he deserved some kind of awards nod for it, and now look where he is!
My only qualm with the film, which is why I didn’t give it five stars, was because of the bewildering mess of the third act. I understand the point, but the direction seemed sloppy and less focused than the impressive first two acts.
But despite my dismay with act three, Boots Riley can be added to the list of impressive debut filmmakers who are making a difference on screen (and doing it really well). Both ambitious and original, I’m looking forward to seeing more from this director in the future.
11 thoughts on “Sorry to Bother You Hits the Mark”
I’m reading so many great things about this movie! Great review, and I can’t wait to see it for myself.
Thanks! Link me to your review when you finally see it!
I’m still needing to see this even though I can’t get a good feel on what it’s trying to be. Maybe this weekend.
Yeah, I get that impression too. Let me know if you see it, and send me your review!
The 3rd act is so insane that I loved it. As much as I love Lakeith and Tessa, I weirdly didn’t think they had a ton of chemistry together. Tessa and Steven Yeun had more, but I enjoyed this a lot. I’m glad it grew on you!
Agreed…they didn’t have a whole lot of chemistry, but Tessa looked 100000% adorable the whole movie! Girl crushing on her!
Nice review! I liked this film a lot too, and I agree that the third act was a bit bonkers, though I have to admire it for getting so unapologetically insane. At this point, I don’t think Stanfield and Thompson can do any wrong.
Thanks, Alex! You’re right about Stanfield and Thompson…I’m a huge fan of them both, and I can’t wait to see what they do next!
I’m so excited to see this!! Love your review, and I can’t believe he liked your tweet, that’s absolutely hilarious! 😀
Thanks, Elina! I low key choked when I saw he liked that tweet lol
[…] Sorry to Bother You Hits the Mark by Courtney at On the Screen Reviews […]