Sorry to Bother You

2018

Comedy / Fantasy / Sci-Fi

35
IMDb Rating 7 10 34179

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
Downloaded 270,882 times
October 10, 2018 at 10:45 PM

Director

Cast

Armie Hammer as Steve Lift
Tessa Thompson as Detroit
Rosario Dawson as Voice in Elevator
Lily James as Detroit's White British Voice
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU 720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
936.13 MB
1280*534
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 51 min
P/S 11 / 126
1.77 GB
1920*800
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 51 min
P/S 16 / 245
935.85 MB
1280*534
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 51 min
P/S 9 / 162
1.77 GB
1920*800
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 51 min
P/S 155 / 2

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Bertaut 7 / 10

A sharp satire that runs a little too long and takes a bizarre left-turn that will alienate many

A paean to the proletariat. A pro-union battle cry. An ideological evisceration of late capitalism. A deconstruction of corporate greed and the concomitant commercialisation of self-worth necessary to succeed. A critique of identity politics. An allegory of institutional racism in big business. A lampooning of Silicon Valley bro culture. Sorry to Bother You, the debut feature of writer/director Boots Riley, is all this, and more. Very much in the key of absurdist fiction such as Dino Buzzati's Il deserto dei Tartari (1940) and Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man (1952), as well as race-conscious satirical cinema such as Robert Downey Sr.'s Putney Swope (1969) and Melvin Van Peebles's Watermelon Man (1970), whilst drawing more direct inspiration from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust (c.1806-1831), Alex Cox's Repo Man (1984), and the work of Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry, and, bizarrely, Ken Loach, Sorry to Bother You is a black comedy/Juvenalian satire/science fiction/horror/magic realist/allegorical character study. In short, it's impossible to classify. Dealing with the obstacles facing African Americans in a white-dominated corporate milieu, and positing that the experience of workers is determined by both labour conditions and race, the film examines labour relations, wage issues, worker solidarity, unionism, mass media, and the dangers of betraying oneself and choosing corporate advancement over friendships, relationships, and personal integrity. Although it's a beat or two too long, and although the spectacularly bizarre left-turn at the end of the second act will surely alienate a lot of viewers, the deconstruction and comic appropriation of code-switching results in a film that is constantly inventive, highly confrontational, and extremely funny.

Set in Oakland, California in an "alternate present", Cash Green (Lakeith Stanfield) is a telemarketer working for RegalView, who, upon the advice of a veteran co-worker (Danny Glover), discovers his "white voice" and rises to the top of the company's food chain. Gradually, however, he learns that RegalView is selling slave labour to WorryFree, a cult-like company that offers lodging and food in return for a lifetime contract with no wages. Torn between exposing WorryFree and his substantial earnings, Cash's dilemma is exacerbated when WorryFree CEO, Steve Lift (a spectacular Armie Hammer) offers him a $1 million a year contract. However, Cash then makes a discovery that changes everything, not just for himself, but potentially for all of humanity.

At its heart, Sorry to Bother is an anti-corporate, proletarian rally cry, something with which Riley has been engaged for decades; just listen to "Fat Cats, Bigga Fish" from Genocide & Juice (1994), "5 million ways to kill a C.E.O." from Party Music (2001), or "My Favorite Mutiny" from Pick a Bigger Weapon (2006). However, unlike Sam Levinson's recent satire Assassination Nation (2018), Sorry to Bother You is not especially interested in politics per se, certainly not in the explicit sense of films such as Sergei M. Eisenstein's Stachka (1925), Haskell Wexler's Medium Cool (1969), or Warren Beatty's Bulworth (1998). This is not to say that the film ignores politics completely, rather it approaches the subject obliquely. For example, the country's most popular TV show, 'I Got the S--t Kicked Out of Me', involves people being violently assaulted by family and friends and then dunked in a vat of faeces, with Riley providing little to no contextualisation (think It's Not My Problem! from RoboCop (1987), where Bixby Snyder's (S.D. Nemeth) catchphrase, "I'd buy that for a dollar", is used as a one-size-fits-all response to every situation). This mindless consumption of meaningless and morally questionable content indicates the passivity of the masses, their critical faculties either dormant or absent entirely (an inverse verfremdungseffekt, if you will). Clips of the show feature prominently throughout the film, allowing Riley to depict a milieu where popular entertainment has reached an unimaginable low. Another example of a pseudo-political aspect of the film are the ubiquitous billboards and TV commercials advertising WorryFree, suggesting the corruption or co-opting of mass media. Additionally, Left Eye clearly recalls Antifa.

Instead of politics, Riley's focus is very much on economic issues, with a lot of the humour derived from pecuniary-based situations. One of the easiest ways to parse the film is to approach it as a parable about selling out, equal parts polemic and acknowledgement that it's next to impossible not to sell out in some way. Indeed, the last act of the film explicitly deals with the literal dehumanisation of the workforce (and I do mean "literal" - to say any more would be a spoiler). RegalView and WorryFree exist in an economic system built upon impoverishing the many for the benefit of the few, with Riley attempting to expose the importance of a poverty line for the continued functioning of late capitalism. Within such a system, he suggests, it is exceptionally difficult for African Americans to succeed unless they are willing to code-switch. In this sense, although the concept of "white voice" does have a practical function within the narrative, its most salient characteristic is as an object of allegorical satire, a hyperbolic caricature of what African Americans need to do to survive in the Caucasian bro-culture corporate ranks of Silicon Valley; they must literally relinquish part of the self and pretend to be something Other.

Aesthetically, the film adopts a visual style obviously influenced by Michel Gondry, and, to a lesser extent, Terry Gilliam. An especially interesting aesthetic device, as anyone who has seen the trailer can attest, is how white voice is handled - rather than having the actors simply speak in a different voice, Riley instead has the white actors' voices overdubbed; when Salvador (Jermaine Fowler) first hears Cash's white voice, he literally tells him "you sound overdubbed". However, the lip syncing is, presumably intentionally, far from perfect, with the voice not quite aligning with the actors' mouth movements. This throws the scenes "off" ever so slightly, creating an extra layer of surreality, and highlighting just how absurd the whole thing is, drawing attention to the lengths these people have to go to achieve real success. The fact that our culture places such value on "correct" intonation is, in and of itself, absurd, like an extreme version of the phone voice that pretty much everyone has, and by failing to perfectly sync white voice to black actor, Riley is able to deconstruct and draw attention to this absurdity.

The film's other big aesthetic innovation is having Cash plunge (not especially gracefully) into the living room of the people he calls, desk and all. Obviously, this draws attention to the level of intrusion with which most people greet telemarketers, but, at least in the early stages, it also highlights Cash's own discomfit at being the intruder, seen most clearly when he drops in on a couple having sex. This is an excellently-handled piece of visual shorthand, conveying Cash's internal process, without having him verbalise it at any point.

Also impressive is the acting. While the standout performances are definitely Hammer and Omari Hardwick, Stanfield certainly holds his own, with his body-language providing a clinic of wordless performing. Early on in the film, he's hunched over and put-upon, his every movement seemingly uncomfortable, as if ill at ease in his own skin. Later on, however, after his promotion at RegalView, his physicality acquires a more easy nature, he carries himself more confidently, as if high-powered telemarketing has helped him to find himself, something which is, in the context of the whole, doubly ironic. And no matter how surreal things get (and trust me, they get very, very surreal), the cast keep everything grounded, as if what they're experiencing at any given moment is the most natural thing in the world.

Of course, it isn't all perfect. The wildly unexpected plot twist at the end of the second act will be too much for some people (there were multiple walk-outs at the screening I attended). The film is also just a beat or two too long, and the bottom does fall out to an extent before it reaches its madcap dénouement. There's also a mid-credit scene that serves as a kind of epilogue that I'm led to believe was a re-shoot when test audiences found the initial ending too abrupt. For me, however, it doesn't entirely work, and I would have much preferred the original, somewhat darker, ending. Also, with so much satire and humour floating about, almost by definition, not every joke lands, However, the flip side to this is that when Riley's humour does hit the target, it's sublime - Mr. _______ literally beep-denied a name, for example, or Cash's two-word rap being gleefully cheered by Lift's assembled yuppies.

Sorry to Bother You is as timely and relevant as it is funny and irreverent, as progressive as it is radical, and as inventive as it is confident. Exploring the intersection between race and economics from a wholly satirical point-of-view, the film both condemns and sympathises with those who choose to sell-out in some way so as to climb the ladder of success. Now in his late-40s, Riley is a veteran political protestor, a Chomsky -literate agitator, who is here positing that the most significant divide in the US isn't between white and black, it's between those with money and those without. Suggesting that the desire to cross this divide can lead to a herd mentality, the film argues that the labour force must never forget their collective strength, and must never turn on one another, as in such a situation, management will use workers like horses. A hugely impressive debut, and it will be interesting to see what Riley tackles next.

Reviewed by nogodnomasters 6 / 10

Use your white voice

Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield) cash-is-green lives in his uncle's garage with his girlfriend. He recently got a job as a telemarketer but can't make a sale unless he uses his "white voice." His goal is to be a power caller, ride the gold elevator and make the big money. Meanwhile, there is a company called "Worryfree" which has workers sign lifetime contracts for three squares and a cot, i.e. legalized slavery.

The film is an Orwellian/Swift satire of society that wasn't well focused. It made points but failed to capitalize on its potential, by not creating a big picture. Was it about black people who sell out their race and act white, or was it about wage slaves? or temps? Is it about people who are willing to swap freedom for security? It seemed to be all that and more.

Guide: F-word, sex, brief nudity.

Reviewed by rk6314 8 / 10

Not everybody's cuppa

Wow, there are a lot of people who don't like this movie, and moreover, seem to mad that others like it. Some samples:

"I think people who are giving it high praise believe that's just what their supposed to do but the fact is it's just a dumpster fire of a movie."

" I RARELY write movie reviews but had to inform people of the facts on this one."

"The positive reviews are from movie snobs who think they are smarter than everyone else and recognize brilliance in pure garbage."

You get the point. It's almost like we're all supposed to like all the same things now. (In fairness, there were plenty of other reviewers who didn't like it, but said they're glad others enjoyed it.

I'm not a movie snob. I'm not a film executive and I have nothing to do with the film except I paid 6 bucks to see it last Tuesday. This is a very surreal satire. It won't be to everyone's liking, but it seems to me that we are getting more and more confused about the difference between fact and opinion. It's not a fact that this movie sucks, any more than it's a fact that this movie is great. These are classically opinions.

Me, I like movies that start sort of pseudo-normal and go into bizarre. This is right up my alley. It's a Repo Man for our generation. Genetic engineering, dead end call center jobs, megalomaniacal Bay Area billionaires trying to save the world, race relations and post-postmodern art commentary. It's all painted in a crazy, bigger-than-life science fiction brush. Yeah, it's weird as hell, and maybe ends a little weakly (Monty Python and the Holy Grail, anyone?) but has a method in its madness.

If you don't like absurdist humor, or if you don't like movies that are at least semi-overt political statements (especially if the political statement is opposed to yours. Anti-union, pro-business capitalists with short fuses be warned! You should give it a miss and just read the National Review's Ross Douthat's review. He saved you a lot of time worrying your beautiful mind about it.), and if you don't like a dollop of science fiction every now and then, yeah, you're going to probably hate it.

But your opinion is still not fact. I liked it. That's my OPINION. Get over it.

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