At it’s roots Cherry is kind of an unconventional love story spanning almost 20 years. Based on the novel and true story by Nico Walker, The Russo Brothers direct this poignant movie which will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions.
Tom Holland plays the title role and he’s recently cherry picked some roles which will impact his career, avoiding him being typecast as a superhero. Let me just say that Tom is truly spectacular here. I was completely blown away by his depth and range. His commitment to the character had him loose 30 lbs which really enhances his whole journey. This goes for his on screen partner Ciara Bravo too who plays Emily; this was the first movie I’ve seen her in and she was mesmerising and so impressive.
Boy meets girl at college, falls madly in love with her and that’s how this story begins. When she decides to end their relationship and move to a school in Canada, Cherry decides on a whim to enlist in the army as a medic. That decision has a major impact on both their lives. Suffering from severe PTSD as a veteran causes Cherry to become dependant on drugs and as a result, his relationship with Emily begins to deteriorate. Instead of running away she too becomes an addict. Their lives spiral and it is crushing as you watch how these two young people throw everything away. Cherry turns to robbing banks to repay debts he builds up from the drugs and he eventually finds himself in prison.
The styling of this movie is quite artsy. It often uses colours and shading to accentuate what is happening in the scene. The mood and tone has massive shifts and to start with there’s quite a lot of dark humour. In fact the first part of the movie could have you believing it’s something else entirely. It’s split into parts which act as chapters and I didn’t really appreciate this until the final scenes. With no dialogue at all, the last moments of the movie take you through time and it’s actually quite an emotional way of wrapping up the story.
With an initially off putting runtime of 2 hours and 20 minutes, Cherry manages to keep your attention and with the second half turning things up a notch, I was captivated watching the different stages of his life. The subject matter is really heavy but Tom and Ciara are so wonderful that they almost soften the intensity. What I really valued about this was it’s portrayal of drug abuse without glamorising it at all. No one looked ‘cool’ and the drug use didn’t have any other affect that complete destruction.
If you weren’t a fan of Tom Holland before watching this, you will be now!