Black comedy with a white twist makes right call
Sorry To Bother You
Back in the summer, Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman told the extraordinary but apparently true story of a black Colorado police officer who managed to infiltrate the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan over the telephone because his telephone voice sounded white. Now rapper turned film-maker Boots Riley takes the same idea for his debut feature film, Sorry To Bother You, and delivers a social comedy that is satirical, surreal and, thankfully, at times very funny indeed.
Lakeith Stanfield plays Cassius, a young man who lives in a converted garage, has a beautiful artist girlfriend (Tessa Thompson) and desperately needs his job in a call centre to work. Which it does, but only after an old hand (Danny Glover) advises him to adopt a white voice when talking to callers.
It’s part of the surreal tone of the film that this white voice isn’t some buffed-up version of his own but a real white voice (David Cross supplies it).
Very soon Cassius has become a highly paid ‘power caller’ and is rubbing social shoulders with the charismatic boss of the Worry Free corporation (Armie Hammer), supplier of extraordinarily cheap labour to multinational companies everywhere. But Cassius’s success inevitably comes at a price, albeit one you won’t be able to guess in a month of Sundays. modified by his father (Matthew McConaughey, with Merritt, below) to a local. They don’t entirely trust him but they do like him, and pretty soon White Boy Rick is a blinged-up insider… which makes him perfect when the FBI and Detroit Police Department come looking for an informer. Hands up anyone who thinks this is going to end happily…
gUn laW: Matthew McConaughey and Richie Merritt