In life, most of us are all striving for the same thing: financial security. Sure, we want love and happiness, but it seems like those things can't exist without some disposable income in the bank. "Sorry to Bother You" is the film that captures what the modern American dream appears to be on track to replicate. "Sorry to Bother You" follows the story of a young businessman Cash, his co-workers, friends and girlfriend Detroit as they all struggle to understand what success means and what it implies.
The Nuclear Identity
The desire to climb the corporate ladder can become to thriving that you become a different person. Coming to work with an empty briefcase and making sure your tie is pressed cleaner than everyone else's has become America's most famous pipe-dream. Worth isn't measured on performance; it's dependent on it, but by the time you've become worthy, you've exhausted yourself into oblivion. That's the corporate trend.
You are prompted to keeping working harder to strive for some unattainable promise that will only be making a difference to everyone who is already making more money than you are. The only person that will find joy in your immediate success will be the manager whose paycheck is dependent on it. Sometimes, the revelation that your job is just a stepping stool for someone else to climb higher isn't enough proof that you're working for nothing. Just like Cash, some of us will always be enamored by a golden elevator that will take us to financial freedom.
There are small symbols in this movie that convey both the progression of Cash's career and the paralleling spiral of his identity. Detroit's everchanging earrings portray everything from masculinity to struggles with identity. She is even shown wearing a pair of earrings that feature a man covered in gold and strapped to an electric chair, symbolizing the death sentence that accompanies success.
So, what's the answer? You can try your hardest and burn out before reaching the top, or you can organize a unionized rebellion and demand the $0.25 raise that you deserve. In the end, none of it matters. No matter how many times you scream "Fuck you, RegalView," there will always be another faceless somebody who will take your seat and start from scratch, but something was different for Cash. It doesn't matter if everyone else is calling bullshit, it only matters if the people calling it are making the big guys some big money.
Before It's Too Late
He stood out among his peers, but still felt the weight of not making enough money to move out of his Uncle's garage. He joins the crowd and tries to reluctantly fight back, and it ends up winning him more recognition than outperforming ever did. He became worth catering when he was driven to give everything up, but when Cash is offered the lucrative role that he sought after, he knew that something wasn't right.
When Cash made it to the top, he found that he would be pushing the product that almost cost him everything. Forced to spend his work days exclusively using white-voice, he becomes responsible for feeding the machine that stands against everything he's ever known. The promotion starts to drive a wedge between him and the people in his life. It becomes obvious that Detroit is living in the moment, while Cash is living for tomorrow's promise.
"Sorry to Bother You" reveals what really lies at the top. It might have you wondering why. Why do we submit ourselves for a paycheck? Why would we sell the immoral commodity that our ancestors fought to abolish? We do it because someone in our lives needs it. Whether you're Cash, who needs to help save his Uncle, or you're Cash who wants to trade his smoking car engine for a luxury ride, you're still Cash.
Yes, you can have all the money you and your family could ever need, but it's the only currency you'll ever know. Love isn't waiting for you at the top. Friendships fall and crumble. The only thing left to do is spend your money on thrills and anything else that will kill the pain - or is it?