This past Monday night, I saw the unreleased upcoming film, “Sorry to Bother You”, directed and written by Boots Riley. The film starred Lakeith Stanfield and included other big names such as Danny Glover, Armie Hammer, and Tessa Thompson. The film followed Cassius Green, Lakeith Stanfield, as he becomes increasingly successful in his job as a telemarketer. The film is a surrealis, sci-fi black comedy that reflects on many important social injustices. It plays on stereotypes of reality TV and others to create a juxtaposition to our reality.
The aesthetic of the film played into its surrealist tones. The presentation of the earrings on Tessa Thompsons character, Detroit, fit into the color schemes and augmented reality of the entire film. The comedic timing of the movie was sharp, original, outrageous, and poignant. The jokes forced you to find the humor in this seemingly desolate and confusing situation and the movie pointed to a “not too unrealistic” future for American society.
The Q&A with director Boots Riley was insightful. “Sorry to Bother You” is his first real film venture. Boots Riley is first and foremost a musician and created the soundtrack for the movie with his band on an album of the same name. The entire venture to create the film took approximately 7 years. He responded to a question about the reason behind the physical injuries on some of the film’s main characters as a way to represent the emotional journey they had gone and the mistakes they had made and a physical feature on their person.
I thoroughly enjoyed the film, the cast was stocked full with extremely talented actors. I appreciated the aesthetic qualities of the film and despite some critiques of the movie trying to tackle too much I felt like it was still a great film.