Tom Holland’s newest crime drama is nothing short of an emotional coaster. With heavy doses of realism, sarcasm and heart wrenching emotion, this film is a must see story for any viewer who doesn’t mind having their heart strings pulled.
“Cherry” is a new release to AppleTV+ starring Holland as Cherry, a young man who has had a series of unfortunate events happen in his lifetime, and Ciara Bravo as Emily, Cherry’s love interest. The film was directed by the Russo Brothers, the duo responsible for “Avengers: Endgame,” and it was based on a 2018 novel with the same name by Nico Walker.
Full of ups and downs, the film takes viewers on a journey through the pain Cherry experiences from college through his release from jail.
This film is presented to the audience in parts beginning with the prologue and ending with an epilogue and allows the viewer to experience the movie like a story.
During the prologue, Cherry breaks the fourth wall, immersing the audience into the heart of the story itself.
In the first part, young Cherry meets Emily, who he has a crush on, in his college class, which begins Cherry’s journey. It was evident the two would fall in love when Cherry told Emily, “I adore you,” the first night they were together.
Relationships are not perfect, but it’s the small moments that make someone fall in love. Cherry and Emily embrace those moments and as they fall in love with each other, the audience will be falling in love with them.
After some time in their relationship, Emily tells Cherry that some part of her doesn’t believe in love because she caught her father cheating on her mom. This inspires Cherry to confess his love to her, but she ultimately decides to go to school in Canada, which forces the two to break up.
This scene completely shatters the picture-perfect couple that fans are used to seeing when the protagonist falls in love. The simple cinematography and a single camera shot of a black eye tell viewers enough about Emily’s story without taking too much time away from Cherry.
Near the end of part one, Emily tells Cherry that she chose to go to Canada to get away from him because she loved him too, but Cherry had to tell her that he enlisted in the army.
The emotional attachment between the viewer and the characters was beautifully developed in the first part, making it even more heartbreaking when Cherry tells Emily that they will be apart for a couple years.
In the second and third parts, Cherry goes to bootcamp and to war as a medic. This portion of the film depicts the pain and terror someone may experience at war including death. The emptiness in the room on the base camp after a vehicle exploded shows the pain Cherry endured.
The hurt that comes after was more chilling to the audience. The scenes showed more background, which identified the amount of empty chairs and empty beds left after those had died. It represented the sadness and loneliness Cherry was feeling. This scene is a heart wrenching moment, and audience members will find themselves reaching for the tissue box to help process all of the complex emotions that Cherry is feeling.
Cherry brings home the terrors of war with him in part four. He experiences PTSD, which leads him to abuse pills he had been taking for anxiety. His friend who was addicted to oxycodone, introduced him to the drug.
“Cherry” uses visuals that might make some viewers squirm in their seats, but they are necessary to the storyline. The visuals show the rotting tissue from constant drug use, weakness of the body, and withdrawal along with the desperation to have the drugs they’re addicted to. The uneasiness of these scenes are what make the story feel real, and while it may be uncomfortable, there is a sad reality that viewers can appreciate.
Their addiction leads to a life of chasing drugs, committing crimes and eventually arrest.
Livening up their life of crime driven by drugs, Cherry talks to the audience about how to successfully complete a robbery. Audience members will appreciate these slight moments of relief between the fast paced scenes of withdrawal and needles in the arm.
Holland and Bravo, have a strong connection that held through thick and thin, in sickness and in health. The two convey every emotion seamlessly and tell the story sought out by the Russo Brothers.
“Cherry” is impactful and powerful because it depicts real-life struggles. The film makes viewers grasp on to the hope that the two will be stable and healthy one day and can come out together past the pain.