“Downhill” / Cherry
Directed by Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Cast Tom Holland (Cherry), Ciara Bravo (Emily), Jack Reynor (Pills & Cock), Michael Gandolfini (Cousin Joe), Michael Rispoli (Tommy), Jeff Wahlberg (Jiménez) and others.
Studio AGBO, Apple TV+
Release year 2021
Cherry was published by Alfred A. Knopf on August 14, 2018, while Walker was still behind bars. Since the time allotted for telephone calls to prisoners is limited, negotiations for acquiring film rights were difficult. However, before the end of August, the Russo brothers’ production company AGBO won the rights to the film adaptation by paying $1 million, not bad for former drug addict and prisoner Walker. Interestingly, the Russo outbid Warner Bros. and Sony, so the bargaining there was quite lively.
Netflix and Apple TV+ fought over the distribution of the finished film, which, of course, was directed by the Russo brothers themselves, against the backdrop of the closure of cinemas in the United States. The Cupertino-based company won with a $40 million bid. The film was released on a limited number of screens in the United States prior to its release on Apple TV+.
Cherry is the story of a medical student who foolishly enlisted in the army, ended up in Iraq, returned with severe PTSD, became addicted to drugs, and ended up robbing banks. Yes, quite straightforward and, frankly, not the most original story. Another thing is how it is presented.
The film is divided into several chapters, each of which is filmed in its own manner and sometimes even in its own format. So, for example, the part devoted to army training resembles Forrest Gump and is filmed in a limited frame, close to the old television format. In the final part, there are no words at all, but an imitation of shooting in one take and time compression due to editing are used. And so on.
In addition, the Russo brothers play with the camera, often using vertical drone footage; color; stage techniques, regularly and quite naturally breaking the fourth wall. It all looks quite original, but at the same time organically. And the music of Henry Jackman (Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class, Wreck-It Ralph, Captain Phillips, Captain America: Civil War, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Detective Pikachu, Jumanji: The Next Level, Extraction and many other works ) completes the picture perfectly.
Each chapter of Cherry is almost a standalone movie. There is: a teenage love drama; army comedy; military drama; relationship drama; criminal history, etc. In principle, each of the parts could be expanded and supplemented if desired, but the Russo brothers do not do this, sometimes quite rudely breaking off the story. However, even with this approach and ragged editing, Cherry has an impressive 140 minutes of running time.
The fact that Tom Holland can not only jump skyscrapers in colorful tights was clear even in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far From Home and other Captain America. His Spider-Man is truly the most human and touching of the Marvel superheroes, and overall the best reincarnation of this iconic character on the silver screen. And Holland’s recent films, The Devil All the Time and Cherry, have proven that he is one of the most powerful dramatic actors in Hollywood’s new generation. In Cherry, Holland plays a character who changes almost beyond recognition over the course of the film, turning from a naive love interest and not-so-smart high school student to a completely war-broken soldier and drug addict with little to no control over himself. Holland’s acting deserves the highest praise and Cherry is worth watching if only because of it.
Of the other performers, I would like to mention Siera Bravo, who plays the beloved, and later the wife of Cherry – the cause of all his problems and the anchor that keeps him in this world. You may have seen Ciara as Del in the excellent, but unfortunately canceled after the first season YouTube Premium series Wayne.
As for Cherry, despite the straightforwardness and too sugary ending (although in life everything turned out even more unrealistic), I personally liked the film. First of all, this is a touching, albeit very strange, love story that teaches us an important thing – one word spoken out of fear or stupidity can completely destroy the life of a person you care about. Be careful with words, especially with actions.
In the West, the film is criticized for being too lenient towards the criminal and neglecting the lives of ordinary bank employees. To be honest, a very strange claim, Cherry did his best to avoid aggression and victims, and when he realized that he could harm others, he decided to stop at the cost of 10 years of his own life. Actually quite a worthy deed.
Back to Tom Holland. Get ready, there will be many more this year, and in the future. In addition to Cherry, Chaos Walking, an unsuccessful (not because of Holland) film adaptation of a very good teenage fantasy, has already been released in 2021, and the next part of Spider-Man’s adventures is planned for the end of the year – Spider-Man: No Way Home, if it is, of course will not be rescheduled due to quarantine. In addition, it is Holland who will play Nathan Drake (sorry, Nathan Fillion) in the film adaptation of the game Uncharted. As you understand, there will be clearly more than one film in this series.
Pros: Impressive acting by Tom Holland and Ciara Bravo; each of the parts of the film is filmed in its own manner and even format; interesting experiments with the destruction of the fourth wall and installation; soundtrack Cons: This is a fairly simple and straightforward story, of which there are many; timing; too sugary, albeit realistic, ending Conclusion:
Several different films in one. Watch Cherry is worth at least for the inspirational game of Tom Holland