I saw Sorry to Bother You two weeks ago and I can’t seem to stop thinking about it. It has really been a long time since a film has given me pause to re-evaluate my role in society and make me laugh at the same time.
This is not a typical review, because this is not a typical film. Tepid descriptions of plot points and talk about how fantastic the acting was feels oddly inadequate to me. All of the performances are top-notch, don’t get me wrong (special shout out to Tessa Thompson, Lakeith Stanfield and Steven Yuen) but, strangely I feel like approaching this magnificent work in this fashion would be doing it a disservice, so I won’t. I will tell you what I have been thinking about all week though, in terms of what resonated with me the most. In very broad strokes, I narrowed it down to two things to keep this brief:
The depiction of the inherent emotional strain of being Black and working in corporate America. The pressure to excel impacts people of color on an entirely different spectrum, compounded by the struggle to meet our basic needs. Boots Riley encapsulates this struggle perfectly. He also examines some of the difficult ethical choices people of color are faced with everyday, while blatantly bringing us face to face with racist stereotypes that are often perpetuated in the workplace.
The writing is brilliantly concise and unabashed in its disregard for conventional genre ‘norms’. It’s satirical comedy...no it’s science fiction...no it’s Boots Riley writing what the f*ck he wanted to write. As a screenwriter, I can not tell you how inspiring this is. As a film aficionado, I am refreshed and rejuvenated by the mere thought that this work will start a movement committed to the celebration of originality.
We need to more work like this. So, if you haven't seen it yet, make it your business to see Sorry To Bother You AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
Don't make me come looking for you.