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Sorry To Bother You: A must watch!

“absurdist, magical, realism, dark comedy and science fiction. Inspired by the world of telemarketing.” Report by Lwazi Hadebe

SANTA MONICA, CA - JUNE 16: (L-R) Actor Tessa Thompson, director Boots Riley, and actor Lakeith Stanfield attend the 2018 MTV Movie And TV Awards at Barker Hangar on June 16, 2018 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for MTV)

Movie releases happen quite often but it’s seldom to come across a soaring master piece like Sorry To Bother You, which stars Lakeith Stanfeild, Tessa Thompston, Terry Crews, Omari Hardwick just to name a few. This 2018 movie centers around Cassius Green, a telemarketer who finds himself in a ghastly universe after he discovers a magical key that leads to material success beyond measure. As his career begins to take off, his friends and co-workers organize a protest against corporate oppression. The film further explores the bureaucracy of the modern day culture, through social media trends, white collar slavery and further – televised violence that is paddled to the masses in the form of entertainment.

Written and directed by Boots Riley, who wrote this movie in 2012, released an album with the same title and later, a book. He’s now turned it into a movie, describing it as “absurdist, magical, realism, dark comedy and science fiction. Inspired by the world of telemarketing.”   While the Rotten-Tomato-Approved critic, Brian Tallerico, describes it as “something you need to see to believe.”

Quick Note: “Sorry To Bother You” is the opening term used by telemarketers at the beginning of the an abrupt call before they sell you something. The movie visually shows you the telemarketer appearing in the caller’s presence, as they insert and become of a part of the callers life for the duration of the call.

Here are some of the gems to look out for:

The White Voice:

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This is a huge part of the movie that bares some similar beliefs in real life. They refer to the white sounding voice as being “worry free” and makes the person you’re speaking with feel comfortable. They go on to speak of the ease in the tone of the voice that has a hint of pride which makes people want to listen. Think of how in the corporate world, it takes a certain type of demeanor and quality to survive. Or how sometimes, homosexual men will present a certain front so as to not make heterosexual men uncomfortable about just being. No matter what angle you are looking at it, this metaphor can apply to many situations in life – bending oneself sideways to fit into a particular mold.

The Rebel:

Cassius King (Stanfield) was paired with Detroit (Thompson) – A rebellious girlfriend who gets a job in the same telemarketing company and later joins the union that aims to fight the long hours, short pay and terrible working conditions. It was interesting to learn that her white voice is British.

The #tag Starter:

Squeeze is the fire-starter humanitarian. We’re introduced to him right at the beginning as the union recruiter who is at the core of its plight for better hours, wages and better working conditions. The film also lightly comments on social media sensationalism and social media activism.

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The Internet Sensation:

Then we’ve got a girl who signs a 6 figure deal for creating a meme and having it go viral on social media. The life of that meme strangely mirrored Cassius’s life and was such a vital tool in his character development too.


After Cassius finds his white voice, he quickly moves up the ranks and soon lands the position of the much coveted, “power caller” – a position rewarded to hardworking telemarketers that bring lots of money to the company. He soon realizes that he’s working for WorryFree, an indentured-slave-labour manufacturing firm disguised as a “disruptive” lifestyle colony, whose coke-snorting CEO Steve Lift represents everything Detroit and Cassius’s rapidly unionizing co-workers led by Squeeze despise.

The movie goes on at least 20 minutes longer than it should but it’s ultra-progressive, radical storytelling manages to keep it fun, creative and thought provoking throughout. a solid must-watch.


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