Sorry to Bother You
Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler, Armie Hammer
A breathlessly inventive and spirited satire from writer-director-rapper Boots Riley, Sorry to Bother You premiered at the Sundance Film Festival where it generated a storm of acclaim and awards buzz. Starring Lakeith Stanfield (of Atlanta and Get Out fame), Tessa Thompson and Armie Hammer, this genre-blending hit addresses serious themes of everyday racism and workforce oppression with a fresh wit, surreal wackiness and visual panache that brings to mind the best works of Wes Anderson and Michel Gondry.
In an alternate reality version of present-day California, mild-mannered call centre operator Cassius Green (Stanfield) whizzes up the corporate ladder after he discovers his unique ability to adopt a “white voice”. With his career taking off, he falls under the spell of Steve Lift (Hammer), a sarong-wearing, cocaine-snorting CEO who offers him a salary beyond his wildest dreams. But as Cassius soon discovers, the cost of success could be more than just alienation from both his colleagues and his activist girlfriend Detroit (Thompson).
Bursting with ideas, Riley’s cinematic universe offers absurdist comedy in both office life and the corporate world as well as delivering a savage commentary on the young African-American experience. Teasing us around the idea of how readily we are all willing to ignore the obvious horrors in front of our faces, Sorry to Bother You is a well-deserved addition to the triumphant new wave of radical black cinema.