Sorry To Bother You

Front Row at the Movies by Shirrel Rhoades

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We get telemarketing calls all the time. Or we call service lines. How many times have you talked with someone in India, who introduces himself as Steve rather than Samir? They do that on purpose, to put you at ease.

Studies show that telemarketers who sound like white Middle Americans do better than those who sound, uh, well, different.

A touch of xenophobia perhaps?

“Sorry to Bother You” introduces us to a black hustler named Cassius “Cash” Green. But he learns early-on with his telemarketing job that success comes with using a “white voice” to sell a product called WorryFree.

This “white” version of Cash calls himself David Cross, a nice safe name.

Cash parlays his talent into a shot at becoming a Power Caller, nirvana in the telemarketing company’s hierarchy. Success is clearly within reach when the CEO invites Cash to a party and offers him some powder to snort. Little does he know that this gene-modifying powder turns workers into “equisapiens.”

Will David Cross, uh, Cash take the $100 million offered him to turn these human hybrids into super salesmen?

“Sorry to Bother You” is calling on audiences this week at Tropic Cinema. It might remind you a bit of “Get Out.”

Lakeith Lee Stanfield – sometimes billed as the more white-sounding Keith Stanfield – plays Cash. You’ve seen Stanfield in “Selma,” “Straight Outta Compton,” and “Snowden.” He’s also been visible on TV’s “Atlanta.”

Tessa Thompson plays Cash’s girlfriend Detroit – or Lily James as her white voice is known. You saw her as Valkyrie in “Thor: Ragnorok.”

Danny Glover is the older worker who teaches Cash about using a white voice. Glover you’ll remember from his great co-starring role in the “Lethal Weapon” movies.

And Armie Hammer is here as the WorryFree CEO behind all the mysterious shenanigans in this cautionary sci-fi tale.

Certainly gives you something to think about next time you get a telemarketing call and a smooth voice says, “Sorry to bother you.”

Email Shirrel: srhoades@aol.com

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