Sorry to Bother You, the directorial debut of artist Boots Riley, is one of the most unique films to ever hit the market. This wacky movie starts out like the insane comedy it was marketed as, showing a humorous look into the gruelling work telemarketers deal with every day, and then jumps into some more important material. Plenty of metaphors towards slavery, racism and dehumanizing other humans appear throughout the course of the movie, with each connection becoming more and more clear throughout the story.
Before we get into the deeper stuff, let’s talk about the fun things that worked in this movie. Right off the bat, the movie was hilarious, showing some truly horrible managers hiring on the desperate hero of the story, Cassius Green (pronounced “Cash Is Green”). While the managers were obnoxious, they were played phenomenally by their actors, actually standing as some of the highlights of the first half hour. Additionally, the lead actor Lakeith Stanfield was the perfect choice for the role of Cassius. He managed to bring the comedy element out when necessary, but still managed to be serious throughout the course of the movie in order to match the darker tones. All in all, Stanfield pretty much played the only normal character in the movie, and he did a great job of that.
The movie also features a number of other recognizable faces, with some even more recognizable voices. Thor: Ragnarok‘s Tessa Thompson and The Walking Dead‘s Steven Yeun are arguably the two most recognizable stars, in addition to Terry Crews and Armie Hammer. The voice cast featured the likes of David Cross, Patton Oswalt, Rosario Dawson, Lily James, and Forest Whitaker, which helped spice the movie up with a bit more star power.
In terms of important stuff, Sorry To Bother You ended up carrying a lot of emotional weight, with a number of metaphors towards topics that are just as important now as they were during the actual days of slavery. The movie had thematic elements of slavery scattered throughout, showing the argument of misusing humans for labor from different points of views in different ways. First off, it showed the corporate side of slavery, and even showed how it related to underpaying workers who sacrifice their entire day at a company.
As the movie went on, however, the connections between the story and slavery became even more vivid, with the hero Cassius getting caught in the middle of everything. The story showed a corporation housing humans in exchange for a lifetime of labor, but giving them truly horrible living experiences. One twist towards the end of the movie even showed how much the corporation dehumanized them. Not only does this connect to slave labor hundreds of years ago, but it also opens our eyes to what is going on in the world today in almost every country, including the United States.
While the surreal style of Annapurna Pictures latest is incredibly unique and hard to get used to, especially at the beginning, the thematic elements are incredibly important and geniusly displayed. Because of this, the latest film from Annapurna Pictures is a must see. It has the eye-opening elements of a great documentary, but in the style of an amazing movie that somehow makes us both laugh and cringe in fear at the same time. Sorry To Bother You is not like any other movie on the market and is not a movie you will want to miss seeing.