Sorry To Bother You: What Would You Do To Succeed?

Sorry To Bother You is a dark comedy film directed by Boots Riley. The plot follows Cash (Lakeith Stanfield), a young black telemarketer who adopts a white accent to be successful at his job. Once Cash is a success he must decide where his priorities lie and who his real friends are, as everything is not as it seems, and dangers lurk at every corner.

I love this film satirical take on the world, I think there are parts of it that are genuinely hilarious and parts that make you think, as good satire should. However, I do believe that the absurdity of this film reaches a point where it becomes silly and loses the point. I am of course referring to the horse people that show up in the films final act. I understand that they are acting as a metaphor and are part of the satire, but at that point in the film I had given up trying to understand it as it had ventured into silly territory. I think this film could have been even stronger without the horse people being in it. I do believe the horse people will be polarizing to people watching this, you will either love them and think they’re inspired, or think their inclusion is dumb and confusing.

The main positive of this film is Lakeith Stanfield’s marvellous breakout performance! Stanfield nails the performance on every level, he is warm and likeable, he is funny, and he also evokes real emotion from us the audience during some of the film’s heavier scenes. This was and has proven to be a Star making turn for him and I think it is fully deserved.

However, on the flip side I think all the scenes with Cash’s girlfriend Detroit (Tessa Thompson), drag on and on. I have yet to be impressed by Thompson in a single one of her performances, she is fine but she never blows me away, she was good in Thor Ragnarök, but that was a small part in a larger cast, not one of the main characters as she is in this film. I think many other actresses could have done a better job than Thompson in this role to name but a few off the top of my head, I think both Zazie Beetz and Lupia Nyong’o could have had interesting takes on the character, but ah well.

Overall, this is mostly a great dark comedy, Stanfield is terrific, and this film is worth watching for him alone, however a weak and strange third act and a less than average performance from Tessa Thompson stop this film from being a 5/5.

Pros.

Lakeith Stanfield.

A great dark comedy.

It makes you think and laugh.

Cons.

Tessa Thompson

The horse people.

4/5

Reviewed by Luke

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