Set in a leafy corner of Belfast, sixth formers Luke (Sheehan) and Malachy (Grint) are best mates despite wildly different backgrounds. But when sparky Michelle (Nixon) appears on the scene, the two are soon at loggerheads.
The first feature of award-winning shorts directors Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn, Cherrybomb is small-scale but deceptively affecting. Following three alienated teens round a bleak (but Troubles-free) Belfast, the story’s nothing new: they hang out, they cop off with each other, drink and drugs make their inevitable, critical appearance.
Yet while the dialogue is a tad clunky, the young leads — Rupert Grint, in his first truly ‘adult’, if not adult, role, Kimberley Nixon and Misfits’ mesmerising Robert Sheehan — share an authentic chemistry, while D’Sa and Leyburn’s visual flourishes lift it beyond its TV drama themes to make for a genuinely fresh, cinematic piece. With good support from the likes of James Nesbitt, more emotional grit than we might expect from a teen flick, and disturbing twists and turns that create a genuine edge, this is a promising debut.
Strong turns from Grint and Sheehan, and a punchy storyline elevate this from TV drama to something powerfully cinematic.