Written by Alexander Reams
Cherry is the first effort from Joe and Anthony Russo after achieving superstardom with their work in the MCU. This film was highly anticipated, and most have panned the film. Cherry is based on the semi-autobiographical memoir from Nico Walker, and follows Tom Holland from a college student, where he meets his future wife, Emily, played by Ciara Bravo, to serving in the Army and witnessing death and destruction on a level that few have witnessed. After all of this trauma, he returns home and becomes addicted to hard drugs along with his wife.
This sort of story has been told before. Someone comes back from war and has negative side effects to what they saw. What sets it apart from the others is the style that the Russo Brothers. They approach the film not as much from a character perspective but the audience, they put the audience in the shoes of the Russo Brothers, they want the audience to see what they saw as they were making it. It is an interesting perspective, and one that I found worked for what the Russo’s are trying to convey.
Tom Holland and Ciara Bravo, who gained some recognition for her supporting role in the short lived TV show “Wayne”, are brilliant and heartbreaking in their roles. Tom Holland was clearly trying to shed the “Peter Parker persona” he gained stardom for, and does it well, all the while showing the world that he can be more than the iconic web-slinger. Ciara Bravo is fantastic, and her chemistry with Holland–electric.
One of my favorite DP’s working today, Newton Thomas Sigel, shot the film, and provides some brilliantly executed scenes, especially during the Iraq sequences. With beautiful wide-shots, he never goes too close until absolutely necessary. The few flaws I have with the film are minor technical aspects, including a few aspects of the screenplay that I just could not follow and few that did not make sense, however they aren’t fatal enough to destroy the film, just enough to take me out of it. The narration is my main issue, it is so in your face and brash in moments that it felt like a TV movie, however the moments that did this were very few and far between. The Russo’s crafted a heartbreaking journey as well as a great analysis on society’s treatment of veterans and what can happen when they aren’t taken care of after their service to this country.