Watson Reviews: Sorry For Bothering You (Spoiler Free)

I had tickets to see this one when it hit the theaters, complete with a Q&A from one of the cast members, but a series of events had me miss that.

Now to play catch up.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

In an alternate-present L.A., society is already shifted to where it looks headed: corporations have free reign. People can sign “life time contracts” to do work and have their basic needs taken care of.

De Facto slavery.

Everyone else ekes by, working menial jobs that don’t pay enough to keep up.

Cash manages to snag a mediocre, entry-level job at a telemarketing firm, with the promise of moving upstairs as an elite seller.

When Cash shows promise, he abandons the activism of his friends and his girlfriend to live the big life.

On the top floor, Cash learns a dark secret about the next corporate exploitation that goes way too far.

Cash has to decide if he follows his principles or rolls with success.

WHAT WORKED:

  • The alternate reality isn’t that unbelievable  This movie is a contemporary day telling of a post-apocalyptic future. It’s an angry Idiocracy. But, here’s the thing: I could see out stupid political system leading us down this path. Where we care so much about the noise that we ignore our government selling us to corporate interests.
  • The cast rose to the material. Lakeith Stanfield (Straight Outta Compton) was incredible compelling as the lead while Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok) showed a nice range and was quite different from other roles I’ve seen her in. Omari Hardwick (Kickass) and Armie Hammer (The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) were quite good in supporting roles.
  • They nailed a tricky acting style. When the African American actors are “in mode” their dialogue is dubbed over by the voices of white actors. David Cross (Arrested Development) voices Cash’s white alter ego. This is tricky as much of the lead actor’s dialogue is him lip syncing. But the approach really worked.

WHAT DIDN’T WORK:

  • I think it tried to tackle too many issues.  think the biggest flaw was it tried to tackle EVERY social issue plaguing our country. It seemed to dilute the impact of stratified economics; which was where the film’s shined best.
  • The love story took up valuable screen time. I enjoyed Thompson quite a bit but the romantic side of their debate fell a bit flat. It wouldn’t have mattered as much had they not been lovers, but other than the conflict, they didn’t need to be together. It felt tacked on.
  • Watson’s “not for everyone” warning. Even Jenny didn’t live the ending. I liked it. So the surreal twists of the film are not for general audiences.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I’ll take a bold stroke that is a bit bizarre over a film that plays it safe. Did I have different choices I would make? Yes. Did my chat with Jenny indicate should would have gone WAY further? Yes. Are Jenny’s views shit? You better believe it!

Overall, I give Sorry For Bothering You a score of 8.5 “White Voices” out of 10.

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