Sorry to Bother You – 4/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Sorry to Bother You – 4/5 –  There are times, every year, when I go the theater and experience a truly original film.  This usually comes in the form of an indie.  These kinds of films are built not for spectacle, but for the idea to be pursed through creative thought.  No matter the subject being handled, you will see a story unfold like no other.  Sorry to Bother You comes across as a simple nature story, but turns into an unexpected journey of social and economic harshness in a surreal world.  Through some great acting, an amazing script and imaginative detail, Sorry to Bother You is an amazing film that provides that original kind of escape.

Premise:  In an alternate version of Oakland, Cassius Green must weave his way through a telemarketing company to find that path to success.

Leading the way is Lakeith Stanfield as Cassius Green.  Green does a superb job molding the struggle of trying to find your way in the corporate world.  Through his endearment, it provides a window into the sureness of improbable circumstance.  With his interactions at the company, the down-to-earth approach provides that perfect contrast to the analogies used to mimic working the ‘9-5’, making money and staying the course of economic/social issues.  The ambiguous nature of his personality exudes the likes of a typical person.  By grafting that humility with flawed conceptions, you have a character that truly defines originality.  Stanfield does a great job in mastering the simplistic mannerism with witty dialogue, propping up each situation with the rest of the cast.  For the rest of the characters, please refer to the film’s IMDb page.  Some of the notable names are:

Tessa Thompson as Detroit

Jermaine Fowler as Salvador

Steven Yeun as Squeeze

Armie Hammer as Steve Lift

With these four (and the rest of the cast), they do an amazing job providing an intriguing but believable world.  Every single character has a unique complex that provides a distinct bravado towards social/economical aspect of our own world.  This distinction allows for great chemistry, adding complimentary layers to everyone’s interactions and relationships.  The value in dialogue is pristine, as it provides a window of obscure personalities that push the subtle details of society.  The oddities give a glaring eye into the obvious, allowing the surreal mentality to create colorful characters that have interesting motives in the film.

The film goes about an ambiguous flow of the traditional film’s acts, layering purpose and desire through progressive vision.  By having ambience through characterization and analogies, it provides an honest reflection through an obscure look at the 21st century.  By taking a hard look at social media, capitalism, economic struggles and self-worth, it takes these themes and pushes it through an alternative reality.  The film focuses on Cassius Green, initiating the first act through his motivation of just trying to find a job.  From this plot device, the story starts on a methodical track, introducing the rest of the cast and story elements of the world.  This slow build allows for an organic transition of the surreal elements with the aesthetics of Green’s tactics.  This then trickles to the secondary cast, showing distinct qualities to the characters’ purpose.  Once the nature of the ‘white voice’ comes into play, the film thrust you into the second act.  The pace kicks up to a faster pace, throwing you into a whirlwind of odd extremes.  This pushes to the forefront the acceptance factor of ideas, people’s behavior and social norms that are complementary to our own society.  To suspend disbelief is an understatement, but taking it to certain levels of creativity with meaningful intent broadens the audiences ‘eyes’ to show how the overall nature of Green ‘trying to make money’ is satire of our own motivations.  The pursuits and blind convictions are given through a subtle perspective, a glaring light into our own self-preservation.  As each scenario unfolds for Green, the unpredictable turns provide the question, What risk (morally and ethically) is he willing to take for a successful life?  The director takes you on a roller coaster ride, weaving each unpredictable moment that shines a light on the creativity taken on a basic premise.  This pushes forward flawed characters in a world that forces our social norms to the extreme.  When Green comes to face the ultimate choices in the third act, it combines epiphany like tropes with consequential aspects that mirror the onlook of emotional acceptance of these norms.  It is charismatic but shocking, creating a witty balance to what it means to find your place in life.  The final scenes will derail the message of the film, but the oddity of the concepts will have you asking, what the hell did I watch (in a good way).

The cinematography uses a common urban area for the background (Oakland).  This provides a connective tissue to the conceptual ideas, giving characters a place to interact in a grounded setting.  The realism provides contrast (in a good way), adding to the unpredictable nature of the storyline.  This creates that dynamic of honest meaning for surrealism, allowing each scene to breathe as its own character.  The score is non-existent, only have spurts of recognition at certain points.

Sorry to Bother You is that indie that creates an original take on our society.  By pushing everything to an outrageous point, it creates a journey that is mind-blowing but simple.  From the stellar cast to the story, there isn’t anything that will disappoint the audience.  If you’re a fan of indie films or not, I say check this one out.  It is worth the full price of admission, you will be pleased in the end.

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