In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success, propelling him into a universe of greed.
Lakeith Stanfield (Cassius Green), Tessa Thompson (Detroit), Jermaine Fowler (Salvador), Omari Hardwick (Mr. _______), Terry Crews (Sergio), Kate Berlant (Diana DeBauchery), Michael X. Sommers (Johnny), Danny Glover (Langston), Steven Yeun (Squeeze), Armie Hammer (Steve Lift), Robert Longstreet (Anderson), David Cross (Cassius's White Voice (voice)), Patton Oswalt (Mr. _______'s White Voice (voice)), Lily James (Detroit's White British Voice (voice)), Forest Whitaker (First Equisapien / Demarius), Rosario Dawson (Voice in Elevator (voice)), Shelley Mitchell (Mrs. Costello), Jerry Mcdaniel Jr. (Man Eating Dinner), Indigo Jackson (Cynthia Rose / Neanderthal Woman), Eric Jacobus (Blackwater Commander), Elaine A. Clark (Game Show Host (as Elaine Clark)), Mistah F.A.B. (Car Passenger (as Mistah Fab)), Val Garrahan (Woman on Couch (as Valerie Garrahan)), Chad Briggs (Billboard Worker), Ken Baggott (TV News Reporter (as Kenneth Baggott))...
Boots Riley (written by)
Brian Benson (co-producer), Nina Yang Bongiovi (producer), Debbie Brubaker (line producer), Michael Y. Chow (executive producer), Gus Deardoff (executive producer), Jonathan Duffy (producer), Philipp Engelhorn (executive producer), Poppy Hanks (executive producer), Caroline Kaplan (executive producer), Charles D. King (producer)...
I walked into this movie at an advance screening expecting something unique, but nothing could have prepared me for the sheer brilliance of this satirical masterwork. Hilarious from beginning to end while also subversive, this film joins some of the finest satires of its generation--from "South Park" to some of the best episodes of "Saturday Night Live" to "Wild Tales."
The story follows Cassius, an African-American telemarketer in Oakland. When told to use his "white voice" on the job while making calls, he quickly rises through the ranks of his profession--and ends up getting a hefty promotion. All of a sudden, things start to spiral out of control. I definitely won't give anything else away, as doing so would spoil what clearly must be experienced for oneself. The film's script is incredibly strong and is consistently hilarious. I laughed more while watching this film than any other movie in recent memory. Its dialogue is not only humorous, but incredibly frank and on-the-nose in its brutal honesty. The film's social consciousness and commentary intersect in ways that are thoughtful, snappy, and deeply rooted in (often unfortunately) a sense of genuine realism. Yet the film's image of the world is not equal to our society with microscopic precision, as its humor often tends to look at current societal issues with the mirror of a macabre fun-house.
Performances in the film are outstanding throughout, and the film is incredibly engaging throughout its run time. Free of pacing issues, it moves at a fast pace and twists and turns so unusually that one will never know what could happen next. This erratic nature is truly part of the film's genius. If such a style of narrative filmmaking was attempted to be used as a technique in almost any other film, it would fail miserably, but Boots Riley was able to commendably stay one step ahead of audiences while making them laugh profusely and question why and how our society may be in deep-seated decline. Also noteworthy is the film's soundtrack, which is a superb mix of rap and pop. The movie can often be strange, but viewers will be all the more thankful for its genuine audaciousness upon the film's conclusion.
Riley's ambitious filmmaking has a variety of possible influences (Spike Lee, Jordan Peele, Alejandro Inarritu, Charles Kaufman) yet feels wholly original--and genuinely, howlingly funny and socially relevant despite being so unconventional--from beginning to end. Very highly recommended.
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absurdism, satire, magical realism, oakland california, telemarketing, corporate control, half man half beast, african american protagonist, living in garage, throwing an object at someone, monster, business, absurd humor, slave labor, black comedy, social satire, anti capitalism, horse penis, directorial debut, reference to will smith, corporate ladder, rapping, sales, socioeconomics, protest, sex, elevator, reference to god, animated sequence, voice...
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