I am back in MD after being in AL for 6 months, which means screenings galore!!!! I got to screen Sorry to Bother You Wednesday night. Overall, I liked the film, but after an hour in, I figuratively started scratching my head. I went with a friend of mine, and we both agreed that the movie took a weird turn at the midway point. For the most part, the movie was enjoyable. I was cracking up at the opening segment. Have you ever blatantly lied about something, and your lie ends up working out for you? (Are you thinking about a lie you told now?)
The movie centers on Cassius, an Oakland native who lives in his uncle’s car garage. He needs a job so he can pay his uncle the money he owes him, and be able to get his own place. He gets hired with a telemarketing agency, and that’s where the fun satire starts. Management tells Cassius to be aggressive in order to make sells, and he will rise fast. A coworker (Danny Glover…..quite hilarious in this film) tells him otherwise. In order to get customers to listen and buy products, you have to “speak with your white voice”. It’s very interesting and quite comical to see how Cassius uses that piece of advice. The white voices reminded me of the horrible dubs used in 70’s kung fu films. It also took me back to being in school, because I can’t even count the times I had to hear “you are acting white” or “oh you think you are white”. I wasn’t aware that good grades and comic books was solely for white folks, but I digress! As the movie progresses, you see changes in Cassius, which speaks to how success can affect someone positively or negatively, depending on who you ask. I really liked how it showed that climbing a corporate ladder can actually be a trap, and force you into making decisions that can affect other people adversely. Cassius finds out that all the glitz and glamour of his job is just the surface, and something quite nefarious is happening in the depths below. That is the point of the film where it took a dive into “WTF” territory. I understood what was being presented, literally and figuratively, but I felt like I was watching a different movie (maybe that was the point). Still, a very good satire. I have to give props to Boots Riley, who made his directing debut with this film. His direction was original and bold. The social commentary is quite scathing throughout the film, and I enjoyed that punches were not pulled. A lot of themes such as corporate greed, issues that people of color face in the workplace, and even present day slavery were touched on. The cast did a good job in their roles. Lakeith Stanfield’s performance as Cassius was on point. I liked Tessa Thompson’s character as well. She wore one of the many quirks that you catch throughout the movie. I recommend seeing this film, and checking in the theater while you can. I don’t see this one sticking around for too long. It has not received a lot of promotion, which is probably why the screening I went to was empty. Less than 30 people there. The theater had the premium recliners, so that was fun. I wouldn’t mind watching this again. I have a subscription to AMC’s A-List program, so it works out when I want to see a movie that I’ve screened already. I will be screening Equalizer 2 July 16th, so look out for that review.