Sorry to Bother You is weird cinema at its finest
When writer and director Boots Riley was asked to sum up Sorry to Bother You, he described it as “an absurdist dark comedy; magical realism and science fiction inspired by the world of telemarketing”. This sounds frankly pretty crazy, but it doesn’t even begin to accurately depict how crazy and brilliant it is. The film begins normally enough, in Oakland, California, becoming subtly more and more absurd as the film progresses.
The costumes and sets become less and less familiar but increasingly striking, dragging you into this slightly off-kilter world as the incredible colourful and intricate visuals are so immersive and affecting. Every little thing in a scene at once has meaning and the practical effects are immaculate and at some moments disorientating, which just adds to the film’s overall effect.
Sorry to Bother You is not a horror film, but some moments are so disturbing that a feeling of dread is difficult to shake throughout the film. This which most likely comes from the fact that some of the more horrific aspects of the film’s encompassing reality are so close to home in the current political climate they it could just be round the corner, (like ‘Worry Free’, a company that dresses modern slavery as an easy alternative to life in the film, mirroring the treatment of Amazon workers today). The film has so many levels to its political commentary, but you never feel as if you’re being lectured at or bored, such is the writing of Boots Riley - who doesn’t just have his finger on the pulse of society but is examining its very heart.
In a less-intense aspect of the film, you’re never bored. Despite its stark political commentary, it is also funny, jokes and visual gags come thick and fast with a few being so quick you could blink and miss them. Which means it this will surely warrant multiple many viewings to fully appreciate the film’s full scope when it’s released on DVD or a streaming service – which is always a good thing in the opinion of this reviewer. The soundtrack is also a gem in this diamond necklace of a film, written and performed by Boots Riley’s own band ‘The Coup’, proving he really is an all singing and all dancing filmmaker.
I can’t recommend this film enough to anyone and everyone because there is so much to it that it has something for everyone. and something just so important to say which is a plus in any film, and if it doesn’t reach its peak popularity now, it's destined to become a cult classic, so get ahead of the curve!