Well. That was a weird one. When I read the synopsis of this film, I was expecting the interesting and slightly surrealist take on capitalism. I expected to hear David Cross’s voice coming out of LaKeith Stanfield’s mouth as part of the take of a black person using a white voice in order to get far in business. What I did not expect was… well the more fantastical and horrific elements that appear in the last half hour. I also didn’t expect that really shocking sequence of white people rapping… but not the other stuff.
Let’s start with one thing – whilst Sorry To Bother You may not have stuck the landing for me as it tried to do too much and mash too many genres together in the final act, watching this made me so glad to be watching the more recent films. I cannot imagine a film like this being made at any other time than recent decades – and the sooner I get to finishing off the 1001 list, the sooner I can get to my backlog of recent films that have been building up for the last decade.
Sorry To Bother You works well as an absurd black comedy – the general absurdity of hearing the voices of David Cross, Lily James and Patton Oswalt coming out of black mouths not withstanding. It has a lot of great touches that make it really rewards people who enjoy detail when it comes to fashion (like Tessa Thompson’s amazing earrings) or goings on in the background, on newspapers or on television.
The performances from LaKeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson and Stephen Yeun are all excellent and Kate Berlant is great in her supporting role. I love the interesting take on capitalism, collective bargaining and… I’m just gonna say forced evolution. However, there is enough here to distract that prevents Sorry To Bother You from being truly great. Doesn’t mean that I most definitely am not interested in seeing what Boots Riley does next – there’s a huge chance that it could be spectacular.