Movie review: “Sorry to Bother You,” special dystopian film

Movie conveys social awareness through human-horse hybrids, bawdy humor

MORGAN LESTER, Evergreen columnist

Hear this: “Greetings Cassius Green. I hope you did not mastur­bate today. We need you sharp and ready to go.”

This is one of the lines in “Sorry to Bother You.” I’m not kidding. While it is in the sec­ond half of the film, it defines the odd, bawdy humor that runs rampant throughout this quirky science-fiction film.

It also involves dimension-hopping, human-horse hybrids and an unusual flip-flop on stereotypes. I see it as a movie about work and living through the world, and its relevance will last past its release and perhaps for decades.

“It’s kinda wild … and it’s in a weird spot socially with dif­ferent race issues, with some weird sci-fi stuff,” said Madison Arpin, director of films at Student Entertainment Board. “I thought it was a good way to integrate some tones of social justice with something kind of funny and weird.”

What makes this film important is the comedic way it handles race issues and how it delivers a commentary with subtle grace instead of directly attacking or criticizing. The main issue the movie focuses on is capitalism and directs its critiques at the puppet masters of society.

These comparisons come clear with Steve Lift’s attempt to create equisapiens — half-horse, half-human hybrids – that directly evoke the word “work­horse,” the union vs. bread on the table debate and the misdi­rection on the part of companies to hide working conditions. These subtle portrayals and abstractions make this movie last well beyond initial viewings.

The way these critiques are masked by the film’s comedy is special — they’re delivered in subtle ways that makes one laugh and think.

This review also should not come without warning — the ending gets weird quickly. While some films require only one viewing to understand what is going on or the message itself, there are some that require mul­tiple, peeling away each layer of the movie with each viewing. “Sorry to Bother You” is one of those movies.

“When they’re in the elevator and the voice in the elevator’s like ‘Hope you didn’t mastur­bate today,’ … that made me laugh so hard,” Arpin said. “I don’t why, but it does.”

For her, it was these moments that make this movie a memorable one outside of the social commentary.

For those looking out to be weirded out and confronted with abstraction, “Sorry to Bother You” will be showing at 6 and 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the CUB Auditorium, and 4 and 7 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are free for students, $2 for guests and there is pop­corn while it lasts. Go out and live a little, and learn something about society.