“ Sorry To Bother You”

“Sorry To Bother You” is a fresh satire that starts out imaginatively, and it assuredly has its values in the high niche; but somewhere the satire just loses its tone. I wanted to like this critically acclaimed movie more than I did, because I believe that greed and power are unbridled and welcomed by too many. Humor is a great way to curb a few deadly sins, and capitalistic critiques are needed these days. Even so,  “ Sorry To Bother You”’s  lack of polish and the poor frame lighting in most of the film distracted me from its message.

Production values aside, there was much that I liked. Who doesn’t wince at a sell-out?! And the actual dropping in of our protagonist telemarketer was hysterical. He interrupts lives by dropping in like the drone that he is.

Upworldly mobile desires are seen as complicity in the exploitation of workers. Contemporary society needs this critique. Going from a garage bedroom where the door flies up randomly to a minimalist chic abode has its understory of sold out unions and ghosted friends. Truth is told. The “ Royal View” is not so royal.

Director and screenwriter, Boots Riley, is promising. He is smart, value -laden, and imaginative. Add to this that he takes risks. His sci-if ass ending makes its point arrestingly. It is audacious! Financial glory is not worth selling your soul.

The story line draws you right in. Cassius Green ( Lakeith Stanfield ) needs to get out of his uncle’s garage and pay his back rent. He knows that there is something sick about  watching the reality show “ I Got The Shit Kicked Out of Me” all day, and the tv ads for “ Worry Free Lifestyle” seem too good to be true. Arnie Hammer plays its CEO as truly maniacal, by the way.

Cassius’s telemarketing interview is replete with bootleg trophies and awards. His poor self-esteem sizzles into initiative as he veers from “ sticking to the script”. With his briefcase and newly acquired “white voice” championed by a cameo from a laughing Danny Glover: “ Young blood, use your “white voice”, not Will Smith white.”  Cassius is moving on up from basement cubicles to the power-caller, golden elevator. The password at the VIP bar is “ upscale, elegant”.  The bulky headset is now blue-tooth slim.

Fun with names like “Debra DeBauchery” make their point humorously. The risqué earring messages of girl friend, Detroit, ( Tessa Thompson ) push into her performance art job where she twirls signs and more.

Humiliation is also in the genetic modification allotted by the corporation’s “ fusing caplets” . The future of labor is half donkey. Cassius sees the light and apologizes to his striking, union friends who emote,  “ you just get used to the problem. No body believes calling your Congressman works…”.

This film is relevant and affirmative but needs polish. Spike Lee, or John Singleton needs to mentor this hip-hop artist with a dream for film.