Ever since rumors arose about the landmark Roe v/s Wade ruling being overturned by the Supreme Court of the United States, a discussion around abortion has triggered back into the limelight. This monumental judgment can impact the lives of women across the USA by deeming abortion illegal. The conversation is seeping into popular culture, and I am glad we are making more films portraying the plight of women who find themselves accidentally pregnant. Cherry (2022), directed by Sophie Galibert, is one such step in the right direction.



Cherry, played by Alexandria Trewhitt, is seen rollerskating to work while listening to music right at the start of the film. Shot in Los Angeles, the world seems to be in no hurry around her. However, once she reaches work and takes a pregnancy test, the results put her in quandary. She loses her job immediately afterward. She then travels across the city, meeting a doctor, her friend and family, and her boyfriend, leading to a series of interactions that ultimately help her take a call about the pregnancy. After all, she only has 24 hours to make a decision. How does a 25-year-old Cherry know that she is doing the right thing?

 

Galibert’s film is a coming-of-age story that will ring true across generations, especially people in their late 20s who continue to feel wistful about their lives. I really liked how the conversation around pregnancy and abortion doesn’t overwhelm the narrative. It is an important part of it, and rightly so, but it kickstarts the growth of the protagonist itself.

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The urgency of this event becomes pertinent by the ticking clock appearing on the screen between each section of the story, reminding us of the same trope that Audrey Diwan used in her Golden Lion-winning feature at the Venice Film Festival last year, Happening.

Cherry (2022)
I liked the warm, mellow shots of Los Angeles like it was basking in the summer sun without a hint of tension. Yet, our protagonist is running out of time in her event of growth. The unhurried direction makes the narrative unique in its approach as if all the atmospheric qualities come together with the many conversations that Cherry has with the people in her life to push her towards coming of age. It really is a story that revels in the quiet moments. At its chaotic best, the scenes at the family dinner table are impactful and have certainly got to be one of my favorite snippets around a dysfunctional family. I cannot call the screenplay very strong, but it surely doesn’t disappoint too much. Interestingly, the shop where Cherry works, stuffed with trinkets, clothes, and accessories, can be compared to the emotional bubble she likes to dwell in. Her losing the job can then be read as a metaphor for being forced out of this emotional bubble to deal with the harsh realities of life.

Check out – Never Rarely Sometimes Always [2020] Review – A Quietly Heartbreaking Drama On Abortion Experience


Almost every frame of Cherry (2022) features Trewhitt. She shines in a few scenes, but the performance is slightly inconsistent. Her baffled expressions on learning about her pregnancy or being faced with her boyfriend’s decisions lack the right punch. It is, I think, her performance that affects an otherwise well-laid-out plot. Every other character revolves around Trewhitt to make designated conversation and then never appears on the screen again. My favorites among them have to be Hannah Alline, Cherry’s sister, and Sandy Duarte, the doctor Cherry visits, both of whom deliver a short but powerful performance. It is interesting to note that the theme of female camaraderie finds its way into the film as a subplot. I only wish it were explored better.

 



There is also an educational aspect to this film. When the doctor asks Cherry what their method of contraception was, Cherry boldly replies that they believed in the ‘pull out’. Consequently, the doctor wastes no time in telling her off. The scenes at the doctor’s chamber are poignant. At the same time, they may come off as a warning to the youth, who is still delusional about the uses of actual contraceptives in the 21st century, and provides an important piece of legal information about abortion – the state of California prohibits abortion by pill after a woman is 11 weeks pregnant. It is a fine way to provide sex education to us.



Cherry’s life is no cakewalk. The film, however, only manages to graze its surface, leaving us craving for a better, more rounded narrative. Yet, it has an endearing quality that makes every coming-of-age film worthy of a watch. It doesn’t make you throb in tension or delve too deep into your life choices. It only tells you that things find a way to happen, they happen, and we learn. In retrospect, an event of this stature in your life will always appear to be a cherry on top of the cake after you have lived through it. Sophie Galibert’s latest film, Cherry (2022), is uplifting, making you feel like digging your spoon into your favorite dessert at the end of a long workday.

Cherry premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, 2022, and is set to be released for online streaming from 11th June 2022 onward.

Cherry (2022) Official Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7un1yd4ZKVQ

Links: IMDb, Official Website
DIRECTOR:
Sophie Galibert

PRODUCER: Sophie Galibert, Shincy Lu, Philippe Gompel
SCREENWRITER: Sophie Galibert, Arthur Cohen
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Sophie Galibert, Matthew Michel, Jacqueline Garcia Ortega
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Damien Steck
COMPOSER: Clémentine Charuel
EDITOR: Camille Delprat
CAST: Alex Trewhitt, Joe Sachem, Dan Schultz, Sandy Duarte, Alice Bang, Hannah Alline, Melinda DeKay, Angela Nicholas, Charlie S. Jensen, Darius Levanté

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