Film and TV

‘Cherrybomb’ (2009)

This afternoon I watched ‘Cherrybomb’ (yet another film I have been meaning to watch for a long time) – a British drama (although it is often referred to as being a thriller as well) set in Belfast about a pair of teenage best friends – Malachy (Rupert Grint), a “hard-worker”, and Luke (Robert Sheehan), a reckless drug dealer trying to support his drug-addict father. After meeting Michelle (Kimberley Nixon), Malachy’s boss’ daughter who has just moved to Belfast from London, the boys strive for her attention and find themselves in a chaotic mix of drugs, violence, crime, sex and, to end it all, a huge party which threatens to ruin them once and for all.

Despite the fact that critics gave it mixed reviews, I really enjoyed it. It was gritty and at times pretty violent, but there was often an undercurrent of dark humour. The best way I can describe it is, it’s similar in tone to Skins, but Irish and feature-length. One thing I really like about British films is that the actors are usually better, in my humble opinion, than all these glamorous Hollywood stars. Rupert Grint was perfect as always, and I have to say, this film has rekindled the slight crush I had on him. Despite the fact that the Grint’s and Nixon’s Irish accents were put on, they were actually very convincing. It was quite funny seeing Kimberley Nixon in something for the first time since ‘Fresh Meat’, as her character in ‘Cherrybomb’ is the polar opposite of Josie (her character in ‘Fresh Meat’, for those of you who don’t watch it).

Although the whole film was engrossing, what really drew me in was the opening scene: police tapes of Malachy and Luke being questioned about a murder case. The murder in question isn’t until near the end of the film, so it left me wondering how events were going to unfold. The ending then links back smoothly to the opening scene, meaning there is a real sense of closure. I found this very satisfying, and I have to say, even though it’s used quite a lot, I think this is one of my favourite plot devices used in film and television.

I would recommend ‘Cherrybomb’ mainly to those interested in teen drama, although really, the quality of acting and storytelling is so good and so audacious that I’m sure it would reel anyone in.

My overall rating? 7.5/10.

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