Rating (4 out of 5)
I really didn’t know what this movie was about before going in the theater. This movie is different. So different that this isn’t for everyone. For example, I don’t think my parents would appreciate it. -2 if you don’t enjoy movies that are out there. This borders on the artsy fartsy at times.
Premise is our hero Cassius, played by Lakeith Stanfield, is broke and needs a job. He gets work for a telemarketer. He struggles at first making the calls. It was entertaining how they showed the marketing calls. He would call the people, and they would drop you into the house he was calling. It was these kind of shots kept a streak of humor to the movie, but still serious, pointing out what an invasion these calls can be.
A co-worker, played by Danny Glover, tells him to use his white voice (both actors are black by the way… movie takes place in Oakland). It was the discussion of what a white voice was which was well done by Danny Glover…. Then when he discovers his white voice (David Cross dubs as his white voice) he starts making the sales.
There are a couple of other themes going at the time. There is a commercial for No Worries, a place where you aren’t paid money, but receive bedding and food, in the place you work. Basically slave labor. There is also the most popular TV show, where people are beat up physically. Punches to the face and that sort of thing. These these other items are intertwined into the story.
Well back at work, the telemarketers, want to form a union to get paid and go on strike. Cassius joins them, until he is offered a position as a top seller. A top seller has his own elevator with a 30 digit code.
Cassius enjoys making money, and is able to pay off the rent, buy a real car, and get a real apartment. But to do this he has to cross the picket line that his friends are forming. He decides to continue to make money. These all leads to him and his girlfriend, played by Tessa Thompson, to start having problems and eventually break-up. Trying to read all of Tessa’s earrings throughout the movie was entertainment by itself.
The next series of scenes are where the movie gets really strange. He gets hit in the head with a coke can, which the video gets 11M hits in one day. He is invited to the bosses house, which is the owner of Worry Free, played by Arnie Hammer. He and another caller seem to be the only black people at the part.
During the party, there is a strange scene where he is asked to rap because he doesn’t have any interesting stories of “bustin’ a cap in someone’s ass” from Oakland. Even after he has told everyone he can’t rap, they get him to rap. He was awful, but what he worked out made me laugh out loud. There were multiple scenes where I laughed out loud.
Turns out, Arnie has a plan to turn people into horsemen (Equisapien), that are stronger and faster than humans, therefore reducing costs to potential contractors. Cassius stumbles across them, and then the plan is revealed. Arnie wants Cassius to be the Martin Luther King of the horsepeople, and keep them under control. 5 years of his life for $100M.
He realizes his errors, and rejoins his friends to battle Arnie’s company. The first step was to stop the other top seller telemarketers from breaking the picket line. Arnie’s company uses brute force to break the picket line. They use a lot of items shown throughout the movie to do form the picket line. The horsemen are the final group to come in to help with the picket line.
The story, begins to wind down, he is back living the garage, and he wins back his girl, and his friend. Just when you think you have been given a Hollywood ending, the movie ends with him turning into a horseman.
The movie is chaotic, all over the place, but is humorous and has deeper points than it seems on the surface. I compare this to the Square a little bit. The Square was all over the place, but only had a few humorous bits, and was long at 2 1/2 hours. This is way more humorous, and clocks in at only 2 hours.
While both are satires of society, Sorry To Bother You kept a focus, that was lacking in The Square.