“Sorry to Bother You” (2018) is a science fiction based comedy that purposely aims to provoke the audience through its satirical commentary on corporate America.
Written and directed by Boots Riley, the film stars Lakeith Stanfield as Cassius Green, an African-American telemarketer in Oakland, California who must adopt his “white voice” in order to succeed in his career. Though the movie does this in a hilarious and colorful manner, the audience is constantly reminded of how this scenario parallels the experience that minority groups have in reality.
Cassius’ life immediately changes for the better when he changes replaces his normal voice to the stereotypical voice of a white male in the United States. He is no longer dismissed by those who at first had no interest in what he had to say.
However, the playfulness subsides when Cassius achieves his desired success. He must then decide if he is willing to profitize at the expense of his own humanity or join his girlfriend (Tessa Thompson) and others in an active protest against corporate America.
Will you join the side that profitizes from racial injustice and greed? Or will you choose the side that fights to make a change? These are the questions that the film asks its audience, and the answer is never easy. Especially for Cassius, a poor African-American seeking to climb his way up.
In the end, the character Cassius Green fights back against the inhumane ideals of a corporate industry that seeks to turn the workers into horse hybrids to boost their production.
However, in an ending like this, no one is truly the good guy, and there are only few winners. This is where the movie makes an interesting commentary on the society people, especially people of color must live in. Even though Cassius decides to fight back, he ends up in the same position as before. A struggling black male living in his Uncle’s garage.
The corporate world will always come out on top, unless everyone takes on the actions of the protagonist and decide to fight back and destroy the pyramid scheme. The movie does not present a realistic solution to a real world problem.
The film does an excellent job conveying the problem in a funny, yet interesting way. But lacks in presenting the audience with a solution, something all the races, sexes and classes who watched the film should have left with.
Overall, if you believe in social justice and would like a good laugh, “Sorry to Bother You” is the perfect film to get a dramaticized look at some of the racial and economic issues we deal with today.