"uses a surreal and exasperated representation of modern society pairing it up with dark comedy to force the audience to reflect on the current state of affairs"
Written and directed by Boots Riley, Sorry To Bother You is a mix of dark comedy and sci-fi created to represent a fictional reality as an exasperated allegory of contemporary society and its flaws.
Set in Oakland the story follows Cassius Green and his extremely fast, professional climb from Telemarketing to Power Seller. A climb that will bring him to money and fame at the expenses of family and friendship. Throughout his journey, however, Cassius discovers that the future of society is at risk and that he is the only one that can save it.
What makes Sorry To Bother You a brilliant and out of this world project is the fact that it is an open criticism of the direction society has taken lately.
All the cultural references present in the film are not hidden, they are just over exaggerated to create the kind of comic relief that enables the audience to reflect after a good laugh.
The film is absurd in every possible way, from the over the top earrings worn by Cassius’ artistry girlfriend, played by a brilliant Tessa Thompson, to the futuristic and crazy project for a stronger workforce created by Cassius’ boss, everything seems to come from an idea birthed during an acid trip.
However, among the impossible scenarios in which Cassius finds himself trapped, there is a strong critic of today’s society. References to racial disparity, the economic crisis, poverty, slavery and cultural appropriation, especially in America, are bluntly exposed to the audience. Even art, as an extreme expression of rebellion, is criticised for its cryptic voice.
The cast ensemble’s brilliant performances matches the over the top tone of the film. Lakeith Stanfield, who already proved his talent in Get Out, plays the part of Cassius with realism and irony. He captures Cassius' personality perfectly, highlighting his thirst for a better life and ambition as well has the gullibility of his entire generation and his morality that comes out when he finds himself at a crossroad.
Worth mentioning is also Armie Hammer, playing the part of the CEO Steve Lift, who tries to coerce Cassius into taking part in his crazy project to genetically modify people to increase their productivity. Hammer dresses the part of the delusional and greedy CEO to a T. He is equal parts crazy and terrifying and Hammer’s performance is extremely realistic.
Like many other sci-fi movies, Sorry To Bother You uses a surreal and exasperated representation of modern society pairing it up with dark comedy to force the audience to reflect on the current state of affairs while still entertaining everyone effortlessly.