The Russo Brothers are back with a new movie but not for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Their latest release is Cherry, an Apple TV+ film starring Tom Holland and Ciara Bravo in the lead roles. This is the third consecutive dark film starring Holland. So, is it worth watching? Keep reading the review…
Cherry is a word that sounds cute; but mind you, the film is everything opposite. The story is about a boy whose name the makers, played by Tom Holland and also his lover Emily (Ciara Bravo). Holland’s character is seen walking out of his house, breaking the fourth wall and telling us about his love for trees and deep thoughts about life. He talks to someone in a car, asking them to meet at a place. The camera then cuts back to the year 2002 where we get to see his first chapter – When Life Was Beginning, I Saw You.
The first chapter of Cherry covers Tom’s college life and his love story with Emily. From the first scene itself, writers Angela Russo-Otstot and Jessica Goldberg set a tone of tension. Hence, even when the young lovers steal romantic moments, there’s tension instead of cheer. When Emily tells Tom’s character that’s she’s planning to go to Montreal to study further, it upsets him. So, he decides to join the US Army. And thus, begins the grisly part of the film.
In the second chapter of Cherry, Tom Holland’s training to join the US army begins. As you think it’s harsh to watch how these candidates are treated, wait until they get to the next chapter of the warzone. Tom is stationed with several others in Iraq. Russo Brothers have not gone easy with showing the bloodshed that war causes on both sides. At times, it gets too graphic to watch. The makers intend to show us the terror wars cause. They show us the damage it does to the army men and common people.
Cherry also shows us the mental condition of war veterans. The PTSD after seeing so much bloodshed makes it challenging for the veteran to live a civilian life. When things go out of hand, they are not the only ones who suffer. Their family members suffer too. Anthony and Joe Russo have also covered the consequences of drugs consumption. Everything seems fun in the beginning until you become an addict and ruin your own life! It is again triggering, traumatising and depressing to watch.
Even when the story becomes too sad to take in, you want to keep going on because of the writing. You are curious to know what is the conclusion of all this mess. The chapter where Tom Holland’s character is in a warzone was too stretched. I can understand that the writers and directors wanted the terror to sink into your soul completely. But it also gets tiring to watch. Even in the addiction part, I had the same issue because it felt repetitive.
Coming to performances, Tom Holland has outdone himself again. I loved him as Peter Parker aka Spider-Man of the MCU. Then, The Devil All The Time released last year and he showed that he can do a lot more than just being a chirpy guy. A few days ago, Chaos Walking hit the theatres and his performance is the best thing in this okayish film. In Cherry, Tom has done such a commendable job that words can’t suffice it. His personality changes with every new chapter so overall, we see 6 different characters enacted by one man. His acting range just at the age of 24 is phenomenal.
Ciara Bravo as Emily is a great supporting character in the story and for Tom’s character. The chapters wouldn’t have been possible without her. Throughout the film, even Ciara impresses you from being a charming young girl to a f*cked up woman just like Holland.
Cherry: Is it worth it?
Overall, Cherry is intense and throws a harsh and disturbing reality on your face. It’s gruesome, too graphic and distressing. Tom Holland is outstanding and you will fall in love with his acting talent all over again. I do have an issue with the length of the film because some scenes are mentally exhausting. So, if you are in no mood to feel sad, you should avoid it. If you are okay with its tragic nature, you’re in for a hauntingly beautiful cinematic experience and great performances.
Cherry is streaming on Apple TV+.
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