BLACKBERRY is a “diamond in the rough” and easily the most overlooked great picture of 2023.
This year, IFC released a film that is geared toward Gen-X. Sadly, that audience is underserved as they tend to watch adult-skewed movies like BLACKBERRY at home. The results had the film earn a measly ~$2 million in theatres this past spring. On the other hand, people filled the seats to see AIR, thanks to the IP and star power of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. This is a shame since BLACKBERRY IS the far-superior business-centric docudrama.
So why does it work so well? It’s because of three reasons:
1. Save the Cat
The film’s story structure follows the classic book to near perfection but with a twist since our protagonist ultimately fails due to the release of the iPhone (this is NOT a spoiler, since everyone knows Blackberry is no longer a device that people use). Following this story structure makes the movie feel like a crisp two-hour thrill-ride, despite, for the most part, being white men yelling at each other in rooms.
BLACKBERRY is usually the type of film that gets Oscar nominations. Yet, I have doubts that Jay Baruchel (Mike) and Glenn Howerton (Jim) will receive any buzz. This predicted snub stinks since their polar opposite powerhouse performances are the anchors that will lead viewers through one helluva ride.
3. Innovator’s Dilemma
Those who have read “The Innovator’s Dilemma” know the primary theme is that good companies will fail to stay atop their industries if they do not adapt to change. Audiences get the rush of watching Mike and Jim’s inability to see the cellular market change, forcing their fortunes to dry up in “minutes.” This exploration of technology is a wise lesson and a glimpse for the uninitiated into the life of a product manager.
In BLACKBERRY, one of the main characters says, “Good enough is the enemy of humanity.” I’m happy to report that despite the predictable genre trappings, BLACKBERRY is more than good enough.
It’s available on VOD.