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Farhad Dalal
Farhad Dalal
4 Star popcorn reviewss


It is still a Wednesday and with the last weekend content out of the way, it allowed me time to explore and scout for content. And I did realise that I haven’t quite been abreast with content across the globe. With that, I finished watching the new English film BlackBerry, a film based on the miraculous rise and an even more miraculous fall of the pioneers of the cell phone market across the globe.

Of late, I have begun enjoying films on entrepreneurship as a subject, given my mindspace currently on branching out our little brand across the board. I have learnt quite a few things from content like AIR or TVF Pitchers which has been reflective of how I have approached similar situations with my brand. And so every time there is a new entrepreneurship film in town, I am excited. I happened to stumble upon the film BlackBerry and instantly awaited its release. Now that I have finished watching BlackBerry, here are my two cents on the same.

Story & Screenplay

BlackBerry is a biographical comedy on the miraculous rise and an even more miraculous drop of the pioneers of the cell phone market across the globe. The story here might have a serious subject tagged to it but it is told in a hilarious manner with its storytelling reminding me of the popular show The Office. There was a time when owning a cell phone in itself was a luxury. I still remember owning a Nokia ‘Box’ veiled as a phone in the early 2000s. Yet, the cell phones kept upgrading but seldom do the current generation know that before the IPhone, there was BlackBerry which was more of a statis symbol. With free phone calls and texts across similar devices across the globe, the company had revolutionized the market forever. And all of this is wonderfully tied up in a screenplay which stands at a shade under 2 hours.

I must admit the subject here was a winner in itself as I can’t quite recall such an established brand suffering from a stellar fall from its peak. And I was curious to know more about the subject. Yet, the writers veil the film as a playful tragicomedy which is a genre lesser explored in current times. And I wasn’t aware of this fact due to which it took me about 10 odd minutes to settle into the drama having eventually gotten used to its tonality and humour. The drama does open with the two goofy individuals pitching their product to a potential investor. While their pitch is horrible, they have their investor onboard following a chain of events. But at every given point of time, the streaky humour is intact.

The proceedings are interesting and engrossing with a quirky sense of humour lacing every scene. As a result, you laugh your way through the rise of BlackBerry as a product while also being privy to the gradual shift in their office environment. As they say, one of they key contributors to an organization is the employee sitting at the end of the corporate chain who must be given confidence. And that little lesson was important given how the organization, in order to stay as market leaders began tweaking with the backdated stocks to pay the salaries of their fresh engineers. Ahhh, such a valuable lesson there! Secondly, the ambition was always there but it was imperative to slow down at certain junctures in order for a sustained growth. And that was represented by some of the decisions of the organization which in hindsight weren’t correct.

But the main downfall of BlackBerry was due to their inability to adapt to the market needs. And that did form a part of the final act which was exhilarating while unfolding as a tragic thriller. The downfall was steep but there were many lessons in play resulting in a heartbreaking final act which would leave any layman baffled. This sums up the screenplay wonderfully well which was innovative in terms of humour yet meticulously penned with respect to the detailing and the eventual life lessons.

Dialogues, Music & Direction

The dialogues are quirky and some of the lines will leave you in splits. The BGM is good and it blends well with the drama. The cinematography was an interesting creative decision to be playful right throughout barring the final act. The constant zoom ins and zoom outs could have been a distraction if not done well, but it was controlled really well. But notice the stillness of the frame towards the end that was contrary to the sentiment of things going out of hand(representing chaos). The emotion though was to begin with a hustle and end with a whimper, beautifully expressed through the frames. Director Matt Johnson does a tremendous job by handling a tricky subject(read : humour) wherein he comes out with flying colours. I was thoroughly invested and for that the direction deserves distinction marks. 


The performances are top notch here. Matt Johnson(doubling as an actor) as Doug is phenomenal here. He is goofy but still can distinguish between being ambitious and going over. Glenn Howerton as Jim is top notch as the shrewd business who can’t control his urge for ambitions. Jay Baruchel as Mike is well restrained and such a poker face as far as comedy is concerned(in a very good way) and he is excellent through the drama. All other actors have done a tremendous job as well.


BlackBerry is a comic and tragic entrepreneurship drama on the meteoric rise and dramatic fall of a cell phone company that comes with my highest recommendation. 

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