Monday, July 16, 2018

Sorry to Bother You (2018)

When deciding whether or not to include spoilers in a movie review,  I take into account whether or not it would serve any purpose.  After thinking about it, I don’t know that giving specific details about the movie’s ending would benefit anyone.  Aside from which, I’m not sure there’s any way I could properly explain the plot if I wanted to, as I’m still trying to figure it out, myself.  But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Sorry to Bother You focuses on Cassius “Cash” Green.  He’s so broke, he’s filling up his gas tank 40¢ at a time.  He’s four months late on his rent to his Uncle Sergio.  This is why a crappy telemarketing job with RegalView looks great.  Despite being caught faking both a trophy and an employee-of-the-month plaque, he’s hired.  He’s selling encyclopedias, but there’s the promise of being promoted to power seller if he does well.

Cash does do well enough to earn the promotion, but it comes with several tough choices.  His fellow telemarketers unionize and strike, meaning Cash has to choose between money and principle.  When the job puts a strain on his relationship with his girlfriend, Detroit, she gives him an ultimatum:  Either he leaves the job or she leaves him.  It’s easy to say that you’d support your friends, but it is a lot of money he’s being offered.

I don’t want to say anything more about the plot than this.  For those that may have read other reviews of the movie, I will say that the rest of the movie is bizarre.  It’s as if Spike Lee directed a Monty Python film.  There is a fair amount of seriousness and commentary on society.  Consider that Cash and other employees of color have to use a white voice to be successful.  (David Cross, Patton Oswalt and Lily James provide voiceovers.)   However, there is a fair amount of bizarre elements.  These elements are what I don’t want to give away.  It’s probably better that you go into the movie unaware.  This isn’t to say that the movie is bad.  It is unexpected.  I did see a couple walk out of the theater when the movie started down the rabbit hole.

This isn’t a Hallmark movie.  If you tend towards more mainstream entertainment, you will likely be put off.  I was going to say that the movie is like an avant-garde art piece, but the movie is avant-garde in its own right.  I’m not entirely certain what the movie is trying to say, other than it’s tough needing money.  When you’re that in need of it, there aren‘t really any good options.

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