Cherry | Review
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Starring: Tom Holland, Ciara Bravo, Jack Reynor, Michael Rispoli, Jeff Wahlberg, Forrest Goodluck, Michael Gandolfini
Run Time: 140 mins
Available on: Apple TV+
Cherry follows the path of a young man from Ohio who meets the love of his life, only to risk losing her by making several bad choices combined with difficult circumstances. Starring Tom Holland in the title role of a college dropout serving as an Army medic in Iraq, anchored only by his love, we see undiagnosed PTSD and drug addiction cause him to fall in with the wrong crowd on returning, forcing him to take a darker path.
“Sometimes I feel like I've already seen everything that's going to happen. And it's a nightmare.”
Following the life of a young man from Ohio, Cherry focuses on the events which took place between 2002 and 2007. Starting out with a brief introduction which gives us the understanding that this is the present, we’re starting off in 2007. In the prologue, we see Tom Holland’s character instructing another on where to pick him up and describing some of his surroundings, giving us a brief understanding of his character. Part one, titled when life was beginning, I met you, begins a much younger version of the character, still at college and looking at a girl we soon come to know as Emily (Ciara Bravo) takes the lead in the storyline.
We follow the growing relationship between the two, with a brief cameo from Harry Holland, the younger brother of Tom Holland, and become attached to these two characters. We’re even introduced to Madison, an ex-girlfriend to make us get behind the main couple more. Both Tom Holland and Ciara Bravo give performances that create realistic characters and make them relatable to the audience which really helps to get them interested in how these two will work out. Part two sees the pair torn apart as one plan on heading to a school in Montreal while the other signs up for the Army.
Directed by the Russo brothers, it's not surprising that the film is visually incredible. The quality and type of cinematography are comparable to that of Marvel’s Black Panther and are incredibly pleasant to watch. A wide mix of shot types, close-ups, aerial shots, and slow-motion are all used effectively in the film and none of them feel overdone. As someone who isn’t usually a fan of these kinds of films, I was definitely surprised when this one kept my interest. There were also several moments throughout the film in which the main character, Tom Holland, would seem to pause and talk directly to the viewer through the camera while the scene still played out around him. These were extremely effective at conveying his thoughts throughout each part of the film and add to the interesting way in which the story is told by adding a more personal touch.
Voiceovers were also used a lot at the beginning of the film when there was less dialogue between characters and were highly effective at giving the audience an understanding of the main character. This was also highly effective when it stopped happening so much towards the end of the film. Dialogue between characters increases during part three, titled Cherry, which is when we see the main character go off to war. This effectively builds up the friendship between him and another Army medic and allows for a small montage of friendly conversation to split up the action sequences without taking away any of the severity of what’s going on in the war. The ending features very little dialogue and no voiceover, a direct contrast to the beginning which made it feel like a conclusive and fitting end to the story.
Tom Holland gives an incredible performance and creates a character that we come to like at the start of the film, keeping up our interest in him when he returns home. While his character is never directly named in the film, he doesn't need to be. The film still feels like a personal story attached to his character. Ciara Bravo also demonstrated the extent of her talent in the film too, showing many different sides of the same character. Her chemistry with Tom Holland is highly effective in the film and really helps to create a realistic character.
If you haven’t already seen it, Cherry premiered on Apple TV+ on March 12th. The film is definitely worth watching for fans of the Russo brothers, Tom Holland and Ciara Bravo. I would recommend checking it out even if you’re not, the film is different to what we’ve previously seen Tom Holland in and is definitely worth checking out!
"I’m twenty-three years old, and I still don’t understand what it is that people do. It’s as if all of this were built on nothing, and nothing were holding all this together."
Words by Chloe Pollard.
Trailer from YouTube - Apple TV.