#REVIEW: “SORRY TO BOTHER YOU”
After winning all the raves at Sundance, Writer/Director Boots Riley (formerly of Hip-Hop group The Coup), is ready to unveil his heralded debut, Sorry to Bother You. Hot on the success of films like Get Out, this Film is high on relevance, exploring at what cost one is willing to compromise their values to succeed in life. One-part Sci-Fi, Dark “Stoner” Comedy and one-part political statement, we’ve never seen anything quite like it. High on innovation, it may find itself polarizing among mainstream audiences, but favourable among an arthouse crowd.
The Film centers on Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield), a young man struggling to find his way. Living out of his uncle Sergio‘s (Terry Crews) garage in an alternate version of modern day Oakland, they both face the possibility of foreclosure. Stepping-up to the task, Cassius finds himself a Call Centre job, only finding success once Co-Worker Langston (Danny Glover) advises him to channel his inner “white” voice in connecting with potential clients. Mastering this, Cassius soon soars his way up the corporate ladder, which causes a great divide between he and his radical artist girlfriend Detroit (Tessa Thompson). Catching the attention of his powerful boss Steve Lift (Armie Hammer), Cassius is faced with an offer almost too good to resist which would set him up for life, but at what cost will this come?
Stanfield delivers a restrained performance, channeling Cassius‘ journey to ambition from a lack thereof and when his morals are questioned to the limit, he is at his intense best. Hammer continues to broaden his versatility with a cocaine-fueled, over-the-top delivery here and Steve Yeun as Cassius‘ friend and co-worker Squeeze is a pleasant surprise. We get a diverse, outside-the-box Cast and Riley should be commended for taking several risks here.
While Sorry to Bother You asks several important questions of the now in an age of inclusion and righting wrongs of the past, tonally it covers a bit too much ground and in terms of pacing, it does take a while to take flight. When the ambitious Film does engage in its Final Act, it does prove worthwhile enough a watch. Riley’s creative narrative is an admirable feat.
eOne Films release SORRY TO BOTHER YOU in select cities Friday, July 13, 2018.