I often use the term ‘code switch’ to describe when a person of color changes the tone of our voice to sound a little ‘less threatening’ to white people. Sounds ridiculous right? It is ridiculous, but it’s also true.
Making his directorial debut, Boots Riley gets in our face with how greed, money and the need for acceptance can color our emotions, conscious and unrealistic expectations of what how a success is achieved and the price paid to maintain the facade. He takes code switching to a whole new level.
When Cassius Green finds himself behind in his bills, driving a hoopty on it last leg and unable to land a decent job, he options in life and career look bleak. However, once he accepts a telemarketing job at RegalView his life, outlook, luck and career change in an outrageously twisted manner that leaves the audience wondering what was just witnessed. Was it madness, a sci-fi spectacle, a unique commentary on the current world we live in or just something that is just designed to make you think.
Lakeith Stanfield turns in yet another stellar performance as Cash. This character is complex at best and only Stanfield could make sense of Cash and have the audience feeling empathetic for him even when you don’t like him very much.
Tessa Thompson brings a quiet, confident sexuality to ever role she inhabits and Detroit isn’t any different. Detroit gives you messages with her hair, the wardrobe, accessories and overall energy. We love her!
Jermaine Fowler as Salvador is finally given a character to seek his teeth into. The confrontation scenes at the picket line with Stanfield are some of my favorites.
Riley pens a very clever script right down to the characters names like Diana DeBachery, Langston, Detroit, Steve Lift and the use of voice-over to illustrate and drive the point of Sorry to Bother You right into your mainstream consciousness. This film is weird, funny, disturbing an amazingly poignant. You will either love it or hate it. I loved it and encourage you to check it out when Annapurna Pictures brings Sorry to Bother You to a theatre near you on July 6th.