The Russo Brothers, Joe and Anthony, have finally wrapped up the production of one of their most anticipated films, “Cherry.” Starring the duo’s favorite friendly neighborhood Spiderman, Tom Holland has broken out of his typical acting mold. As an original Apple TV+ film, “Cherry” was released on Feb. 26 and is based on a novel of the same name written by Nico Walker. The film follows a war veteran who has post-traumatic stress disorder and resorts to robbing banks to fund his drug addiction.
Throughout the film, a wide variety of background music demonstrates the year each section of the film is set and emphasizes different emotions in specific scenes. The Russo Brothers experiment with their style and apply several new characteristics that make the film feel all over the place while still serving a purpose. Different editing techniques appear to add some spice to the story, but the overwhelming use of narration takes away from the realistic feel the film portrays. Not only is it full of narration, but Holland occasionally breaks the fourth wall and talks directly to the audience through the camera, expressing his thoughts and emotions and leaving no room for interpretation.
The film is separated into six chapters, and each chapter’s introduction breaks storytelling norms when the titles are displayed on the entire screen in bold, white letters on top of a red background. The Russo Brothers made bold choices regarding “Cherry,” which could make or break a film depending on its audience’s preference.
As advertised in the posters, Holland plays the roles of a student, lover, soldier, junkie and thief who each have significant appearances, but the drug addict is given the most spotlight than any other role. After showcasing his acting abilities in “The Devil All The Time,” Holland doesn’t hesitate to take them a step further and completely blow the audience away. Holland’s acting ranges throughout the film, yet he manages to grasp each character perfectly. Holland has come a long way in his acting career, which is enjoyable to see unfold as he grows and potentially becomes Hollywood’s newest heartthrob, filling Brad Pitt’s shoes.
Holland’s co-star, Ciara Bravo, who plays Emily in the film, also gives a fantastic performance. Holland and Bravo specifically shine in scenes depicting their characters’ opioid addictions, and it is shocking because of the environment they are in. Their performance is so believable that it makes the audience upset they could be actually suffering from addiction. Together, they deserve a round of applause, and it would be a shame if this is the only time they have the chance to be an on-screen duo.
The Russo Brothers never miss a detail, and they even include some fun ones like casting Holland’s little brother, Harry Holland, for a surprise cameo and showing Holland’s character drinking from a mug sold at Walmart that reads, “I Don’t Give A Sip.” Overall, the story can go either way, depending on who is watching. Many were not expecting the harsh realities of drug use and war in a film like this, and “Cherry” doesn’t necessarily meet the expectations of an audience that was thrilled for its release. Those that view the more artistic standpoint of “Cherry” can grow to love its flaws because of how the Russo Brothers nailed many of its filmmaking characteristics.
Katen Adams is a university studies sophomore and film critic for The Battalion.