Analysis of Sorry to bother you

Summary The movie follows Cassius, a struggling telemarketer who lands a job at WorryFree, a new business model that offers life-long employment. Cassius uses a 'white voice' and excels in his job, but as he climbs the ranks, he uncovers dark and disturbing secrets about WorryFree's newest development, Equisapiens. Cassius contacts the press and becomes a viral sensation, leading to a confrontation with WorryFree's CEO, Steve Lift. Along the way, Cassius navigates complex relationships with his girlfriend Detroit and his friends, who are involved in a strike against WorryFree's oppressive practices. Eventually, Cassius transforms into an Equisapien and confronts Lift in a dramatic and disturbing finale.

Screenplay Story Analysis

Story Critique The screenplay presents a thought-provoking and satirical commentary on modern life and explores themes of capitalism, race, and exploitation. The characters are well-developed, and the storyline is engaging, with plenty of twists and turns that keep the audience hooked. However, the third act feels rushed and lacks cohesion, leading to a confusing and unsatisfying ending. The satire can be heavy-handed at times, and the film's messaging feels muddled towards the end.
Suggestions: To improve the screenplay, the third act needs to be reworked to provide better clarity and emotional payoff. The messaging can be sharpened by focusing on a more cohesive, overarching theme. The satire can be more nuanced without sacrificing its message, and the characters' motivations can be explored further to make their actions more understandable. Additionally, the Equisapiens could be introduced earlier to provide more buildup and momentum towards the climax.

Note: This is the overall critique. For scene by scene critique click here

Characters in the screenplay, and their arcs:

Cassius Green

Cassius Green is a young man who is resourceful, desperate for a job, and willing to fake his credentials to get one. He struggles with a lack of morals and is conflicted about his desire for success in the cutthroat world of telemarketing. Cassius is torn between his loyalty to his friends and the opportunities of his new promotion. Despite being driven and ambitious, he is still unsure of where he stands on certain issues, but clearly believes his work is important.


Cassius is a conflicted and ambitious protagonist who is caught between his desire for success and his loyalty to his community. He struggles with his identity and the expectations of others. He is socially awkward and uncomfortable in his own skin, and worries about his finances and future. As he becomes disillusioned with his job, he becomes involved in a rebellion against his employer. Cassius is highly moral and quickly becomes distressed and horrified when faced with the reality of WorryFree's unethical practices. He is determined to fight against injustice and make amends for his past actions.


Detroit is a strong, passionate, and creative performance artist and activist. She values honesty and authenticity, and has a natural talent for using art to make a statement about social issues. She is supportive of her friends and loved ones, but can also be impulsive and unpredictable at times.


Salvador is a loyal friend who provides support and advice to Cassius. He is also an artist with his own business. He is content with his life but is willing to stand up for what he believes in.


Squeeze is a charismatic and persuasive activist who is passionate about fighting for workers' rights and social justice. He is confident in his abilities as a leader and is able to rally others behind his cause. He also has a sarcastic and skeptical side, often questioning the motives of those around him, but ultimately supports his friends in their endeavors.

Steve Lift

Steve Lift is a mysterious and powerful figure who is both intimidating and charismatic. He is highly manipulative and values power and control above everything else. He is willing to resort to violence to achieve his goals, and has a dangerous obsession with the Equisapiens.

Character Arc Critique Suggestions
Cassius Green Throughout the movie, Cassius's character arc involves him realizing the true nature of his job and the negative impact it has on society. Initially, Cassius is solely focused on success and believes that success is the only way to improve his life. However, as he rises through the ranks of his telemarketing company, he becomes disillusioned with the ethics of his work. Eventually, Cassius joins a union, realizing that true success comes from collective action and making positive change in the world. The character arc for Cassius is well-formed and provides a clear trajectory for his growth throughout the movie. However, it would be beneficial for the audience to see more of Cassius's internal struggles and his journey to coming to terms with the negative impact of his job. Additionally, it would be helpful to see more of Cassius's past experiences that may have influenced his motivations and beliefs.
To improve Cassius's character arc, the writer could include more scenes that show his internal struggles and his process of coming to terms with the negative impact of his job. Additionally, flashbacks or exposition scenes could be included that provide insight into Cassius's past experiences and beliefs. This would help to create a more complete picture of his character and provide a more satisfying resolution to his arc.
Cassius Cassius starts off as a frustrated and directionless telemarketer, but becomes motivated by financial pressures and a strong sense of justice. As he becomes disillusioned with his job, he becomes involved in a rebellion against his employer. Initially hesitant to join, he ultimately takes action and becomes a leader in the strike. His encounter with the part-man, part-horse creatures pushes him to question the morality of WorryFree. He becomes determined to fight against injustice and make amends for his past actions, ultimately risking everything to do so. The character arc could be improved by exploring Cassius' motivations and inner struggles in greater detail. Additionally, while he shows significant growth and change throughout the story, some of the transitions feel a bit abrupt and could benefit from more development. Moreover, it would be helpful to see more of his relationships with other characters, particularly with Detroit, which would help ground his motivations and actions.
To improve the character arc, consider adding more scenes that highlight Cassius' inner conflicts and motivations. For example, you could have him reflect more deeply on his identity and insecurities, or show how his relationships with other characters, particularly with Detroit, evolve over time. Additionally, try to smooth out some of the transitions in his character development, and make sure that his actions and decisions are well-grounded in his motivations and experiences throughout the story.
Detroit Detroit starts out as a loving and supportive partner to Cassius, and remains a strong ally in the fight against unjust working conditions at their workplace. As she becomes more involved in activism and protests, her relationship with Cassius becomes strained. Eventually, she decides to prioritize her activism over her relationship, but still supports Cassius as a friend and encourages him to continue fighting for a larger cause. The character arc for Detroit is quite solid, with clear progression from supportive partner to passionate activist. However, there could be a clearer resolution to her relationship with Cassius. It is left somewhat open-ended whether they will continue to be friends or if their relationship will be strained further.
To improve the character arc, it may be helpful to have a conversation or confrontation between Detroit and Cassius, where they discuss their differing priorities and come to a clear understanding of where they stand with each other. This could provide a more satisfying conclusion to their relationship arc.
Salvador Throughout the movie, Salvador's loyalty and support for Cassius is consistently shown despite the challenges they face. He also demonstrates his passion for art and small businesses. However, when Cassius initially sells out and takes the promotion, Salvador feels betrayed and confronts him. After some time and reflection, Salvador accepts Cassius' apology and continues to show his support by joining the strike. His character arc ultimately showcases his unwavering loyalty and willingness to stand up for his beliefs. The character arc for Salvador is a bit underdeveloped and doesn't have a clear resolution. While his loyalty and support are evident throughout the movie, his conflict with Cassius is resolved somewhat quickly and without much depth. It could benefit from more exploration and development to add to the emotional weight and impact of his character arc.
To improve Salvador's character arc, more attention should be given to his conflict with Cassius and how it affects their friendship. This could add more depth and complexity to Salvador's character, showcasing his internal struggles and growth. Additionally, showing more of his passion for art and small businesses could add to his character development, making him a more nuanced and interesting character.
Squeeze Throughout the movie, Squeeze goes from being a coworker trying to recruit Cassius to join the movement, to a passionate leader who inspires others to join the cause. As he becomes more involved in the movement, he struggles with his own skepticism and doubts, but ultimately finds the courage to continue fighting for what he believes in. Squeeze also challenges Detroit's views on the value of art as activism and eventually comes to understand the importance of both approaches. The character arc for Squeeze is interesting but feels somewhat underdeveloped. We don't get a strong sense of his inner turmoil or the specific moments that inspire him to keep fighting. Additionally, some of his actions and motivations, particularly in regards to Detroit, could be more clearly defined.
To improve Squeeze's character arc, it could be helpful to include more scenes that showcase his struggles and doubts. Additionally, exploring the dynamics between Squeeze, Detroit, and Cassius in greater depth could add more nuance and complexity to his character.
Steve Lift Steve Lift begins as a charming and persuasive figure who represents success at any cost. As the movie progresses, he reveals himself to be a sinister and manipulative CEO who is willing to cross any ethical boundaries to gain more power and control. When Cassius confronts him about the Equisapiens, Steve initially dismisses his concerns, but eventually shows some remorse for his actions. However, instead of trying to undo the damage he has caused, he doubles down on his quest for power, ultimately leading to his downfall when Cassius engineers a rebellion against him. Overall, Steve Lift's character arc is well-developed and consistent throughout the movie. However, his eventual downfall feels somewhat rushed and underdeveloped, considering how integral he is to the plot. Additionally, although there are hints at his remorse early on, it could be more effectively developed and explored in order to give his eventual downfall more emotional weight.
To improve the character arc, it could be helpful to spend more time exploring Steve's motivations and emotional state as he becomes more and more entrenched in his quest for power. This could potentially involve additional scenes with Cassius where Steve reveals more about himself, or moments where he reflects on his actions. Additionally, his downfall could be more effectively built up in order to make it feel like a more satisfying conclusion to his arc. This could involve more emphasis on the rebellion, or more hints throughout the movie that Steve's behavior is unsustainable.
Theme Theme Details Themee Explanation
Capitalism and ExploitationThe film explores the effects of capitalism on individuals and society, showing how the pressure to succeed in a capitalist society leads to exploitation and dehumanization. Cassius specifically faces conflicts with his own morals as he rises through the ranks of telemarketing, ultimately accepting a promotion to sell slave labor.The film reveals the dark side of capitalism, exploring how individuals are often exploited and dehumanized in their attempts to succeed in a capitalist society. Cassius faces conflicts with his own sense of morality as he participates in promoting the exploitation of others.
Identity and RacismThe theme of identity and racism is prominent throughout the film, with Cassius grappling with his own identity as a black man in a world dominated by white power and success. He faces pressure to adopt a 'white' voice to succeed in telemarketing, and ultimately experiences firsthand the exploitation of black bodies for profit.The film portrays the struggles of a black man navigating a predominantly white power structure, highlighting the racism and exploitation that exists within capitalist systems. Cassius's experiences with using a 'white' voice and his later exposure to slave labor emphasize the ways in which black bodies are commodified and exploited for profit.
Art and ActivismThe film also touches on themes of art and activism, with Cassius's friend Detroit using street art as a form of activism against capitalist oppression. The two friends have debates about the efficacy of activism and protest and ultimately clash over their differing beliefs about how to create meaningful social change.The film explores the role of art and activism in fighting against capitalist oppression, with Detroit using street art to express his political ideas. Cassius's conflicts with his friend underscore the differing perspectives on how to create meaningful social change.

Screenwriting Resources on Themes


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Studio Binder Movie Themes: Examples of Common Themes for Screenwriters
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John August Writing from Theme

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