Film Review: Cherrybomb

Directed by Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn, Cherrybomb was released in 2010 and stars Rupert Grint (Harry Potter franchise) and Robert Sheehan (Misfits) as best friends Malachy and Luke over a wild weekend of drink, drugs and violence as the two compete to win over the new girl in town, Michelle (Kimberley Nixon).

The story follows a Skins-esque type plot as Michelle takes the place of Effy, persuading the boys to out-do each other in bad behaviour to win the prize of ‘getting to know her better.’ Their love triangle forms as the competition begins, but what starts out as just a game turns deadly serious. The opening scene introduces Malachy and Luke being questioned by the police over a murder charge, flashing back three days before to retell the story, beginning when the two first meet Michelle as the boss’ (James Nesbitt) daughter.

Although the plot is extremely ‘Skins series three,’ Cherrybomb actually makes a better attempt of realistic teenage behaviour. A bag of pills and a single line of coke, a couple of beers on a night out; maybe not so minimum, but a realistic amount of drugs and alcohol that a teenager would be taking compared to the copious amounts of Skins series three and four. Realistic relationships, realistic reactions, realistic outcomes; no hitting girls over the heads with a rock, getting away with it and becoming mentally depressed. The story-lines may be similar, the film may present your typical teenage stereotype, but it is one that is believable and much more realistic than how Skins has ended up today.

“You thought that because I sucked your dick we were boyfriend and girlfriend? What is this, Jane Austen?”

Set in Ireland, the two sport pretty decent Irish accents, but there is a huge contrast between the characters of Malachy and Luke. Malachy is the more well off character with a fully functional family, whilst Luke lives with his mess of a father; it’s obvious that he has an uncontrollable disgust towards family life, angrily twitching in any kind of scenario. As could be predicted, he is the ‘bad one’ who needn’t make any effort to impress Michelle. But this only pushes Malachy further and results in Luke’s overly violent reaction at the end of the film.

“So what, this shit is fun is it? As long as there’s no consequences? As long as you can go back home afterwards to mummy and daddy and play happy fucking families.”

The title of the film is from the song “Cherrybomb”, which the two are heard listening to, by the 1970’s teenage girl rock band, The Runaways (The Runaways biopic was released in UK cinemas this week starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning). The lyrics of the song, and the story behind The Runaways formation, show a clear link to the film, especially to the character of Luke.

“Can’t stay at home, Can’t stay at school. Old folks say, ‘You poor little fool’. Down the street, I’m the girl next door. I’m the fox you’ve been waiting for.”

As a whole, Cherrybomb is an entertaining film with a great cast. Unbelievably, an older, somewhat sexy, Ron Weasley also manages to pull off his character really well, even with his ginger hair quiffed back as he snorts a line of coke in the club toilets. Rupert Grint and Robert Sheehan also worked well together, and it was interesting to see Rupert with his wand away (though it would only be too easy to stick in an innuendo here!). You can see why the film was never released at the cinema, but it was still decent enough to watch more than once.

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