Movie Review of Cherry – Tom Holland starrer, with a lot of promise, not much delivery
My Rating – 3 out of 5
Plot Summary – Cherry
Tom Holland steals the show in this Apple Original Movie, based on the novel by Nico Walker – the war in Iraq, PTSD, Drugs, Crime and the overall neglect and disrespect meted out to veterans. Once again, the devastation caused by needless and pointless wars fought thousands of miles away from the home country, pokes one in the eye and makes you wonder as to who stands to gain anything in this mayhem and devastation. Those who do not return in body bags are mostly broken and dysfunctional human beings, struggling to make sense in a world which has left them alone after chewing them out.
“Can you look back to when you met the one you love the most and remember exactly how it was? Not as in where you were or what she was wearing, but rather in what you saw in her that made you say, “Yes, this is what I came here for.”Tom Holland in Cherry
Cherry is a normal teenager going to college and falling in love and then when that love seems to be deserting him, he enlists in the Army as a Medic, as he has a disability that disqualifies him from a combat role. Upon his return, he takes to OxyContin as medication for his PTSD and that metastasizes into a drug habit with an iron grip on his psyche. Though he marries the sweetheart (Emily – Ciara Bravo ) that he’d left behind, the only option left to him which can fuel his drug habit, is a life in crime – namely, robbing banks.
What starts as an amateurish attempt at robbing neighborhood Banks, slowly metamorphoses into an addiction of its own and with his life spiraling out of control, he has no recourse. The doctors have no remedy for him, his wife has also become an addict now and society has no time for troubled veterans like him. The unspeakable violence that he has witnessed in Iraq, the blood and death all around him has squeezed out all merriment from his mind, and life gets even more grittier for him in the squalor that he finds himself in.
“See, the thing about robbing banks is that you’re mostly robbing women, so the last thing you wanna be is rude.” [ Cherry points gun at bank teller] “Ma’am, it’s nothing personal.”Tom Holland in Cherry
As the movie is based on real life incidents and events, it doesn’t reflect any silver lining around the troubles that the protagonist goes through. Depressing is the underlying theme all over, by the time the movie reaches the halfway stage, the poignancy and sweetness of a teenage romance has long since been forgotten. Instead, a feeling of utter helplessness and desperation has taken root.
“Why are you being so sweet to me?”
“I have a thing for weak guys.”Cherry and Emily
Conclusion – Movie Review of Cherry
Coming from the Russo Brothers (Anthony and Joe of the Marvel Universe fame), this is a total opposite to their erstwhile body of work. That is not to say that they have done shoddy work, it’s just that this feels rather disjointed at times – even the gallows humor of the Doctor’s name plate reading ‘Dr. Whomever’ and banks named ‘Shittybank’ do nothing to alleviate that feeling of dissonance.
As I had begun this piece, Tom Holland is probably at the best of his acting prowess here and Ciara is not far behind. But somehow, the well-intentioned story line leaves gaps that are not well explained. It’s definitely well worth a watch, but you come away with more questions than answers ( not that the film-makers claim that they can provide any). The policymakers in US are not the ones who go to war in distant countries, but send their Armies to do their dirty jobs and the returning soldiers are left feeling unwanted in a society, which couldn’t care less about their trauma.