Sorry to bother you – When Cassius Green (LaKeith Stanfield) a young black man was being interviewed for a job at a telemarketing company, he had no much to show in his support. However, his somewhat unorthodox display of credentials was enough to get hired. The job of selling something on the phone, however, was not easy. At first, each time he called he got the usual response: the other party would hang up on him before giving any time to explain the reason of the calling, he usually wouldn’t get beyond the perfunctory “sorry to bother you”. However, Cassius’s fortune would change when Langston (Danny Glover) a colleague and a fellow black, advised him to use a “white voice.” Knowing how to be persuasive, combined with the use of a white voice, soon make Cassius a major telemarketing star. A success he would share with his girlfriend Detroit (Tessa Thompson), his long-time friend Salvador (Jermaine Fowler), and telemarketing colleague and new friend Squeeze (Steven Yeun).
Things would get complicated for Cassius when at the same time as he is promoted and starts to enjoy a new status in the firm, Squeeze and his other friends and colleagues, tired of the abuses at the hands of the company, organize a union and even go on strike. Detroit also joins in the movement, deepening the ambivalent situation in which Cassius finds himself, caught between his promising career in a company that –he shockingly discovers– is involved in extremely unethical practices, and his friends and girlfriend openly critical of the controversial company.
The decisive moment would come after Cassius is invited to a party at the big boss’s place, where he is presented with an even more lucrative post in the corporation but at a very high personal cost. Steve Lift (Armie Hammer), the big boss, is selling slave work, and not only that, scientists working for him have designed a formula to genetically change humans to make them work harder by increasing his physical power.
“Sorry to Bother You” is directed by Boots Riley, and although it is basically a comedy, it also presents a sort of dramatic fable of today’s corporate world and the extents to which big companies and unscrupulous bosses are ready to go in order to optimize their profits. It ironically portrays what blacks have to do sometimes to have some success, i.e. “white voices” as a form of status. This is a film that will provide entertainment and at the same time may make people think about the practices of some big corporations, even if for that the director would resort to an incursion into the fantastic.
Length: 105 min.
Feature image: Cassius Green (LaKeith Stanfield) and the big boss Steve Lift (Armie Hammer)