Blackberry chronicles Meteoric rise and equally devastating fall A company that changed the way we communicate. Research In Motion (RIM) was founded in Waterloo, Canada by best friends Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Freggin. They struggle mightily in a cutthroat sea of business competition until fate brings them together with a vicious shark. Jim Balsillie bullied, yelled, and used unscrupulous tactics to force his way to the top. The journey of these three men and their wildly different personalities is fascinating. Blackberry is both an innovative triumph and cautionary tale of blinding arrogance.
Punk rock blares from a vintage Honda Civic as Mike (Jay Baruchel) and Doug (Matt Johnson) race to an important meeting at Sutherland-Schultz. They move presentation materials around while trying to set up. White-haired, dashing Mike becomes obsessed with the static buzzing from a cheap intercom. He attempts to fix the problem as a panicked Dog tries to find the paperclip.
Jim (Glen Howerton) enters the room with a furious face. engineering nerd Falling under his dazzling gaze. Mike tries to explain his design for Pocket Link. A revolutionary smartphone that could send and receive messages. Jim already has a pager. Who cares? Mike corrects her. This device sends e-mail over a network signal.
a great offer
mike and doug return to office Downhearted. They don’t have money. The multimillion-dollar deal with US Robotics for the modem hasn’t paid off. An employee noted that his paycheck bounced. Freewheeling Dog Seduces Fear – Stop Working, and Let’s Watch Raiders of the Lost Ark, Meanwhile, back at Sutherland-Schultz, Jim’s aggressive behavior is no longer tolerated. He invites Mike and Doug to lunch the next day. They are stunned when Jim offers a cash investment of 50% of RIM and a job as the company’s new CEO.
Blackberry’s The sublime first act sets the stage for a perfect storm. Mike was a genius with no business acumen. His reserved and flamboyant nature prevented people from taking him seriously. Doug, played hilariously at triple duty by director/co-writer Johnson, was no stickler for the rules. They coddled employees with fun environments that fostered creativity but failed to generate productivity. Jim, the proverbial bull in the china shop, immediately ceased all non-work related activities. He ruled with fear and intimidation. Jim didn’t care about hurt feelings or bruised egos. You hesitate when Jim crushes the disagreement and everyone runs to escape his wrath.
Blackberry rightly praises his initial success. Jim learns that bragging doesn’t win the Fortune 500 boardroom. He got important meetings but didn’t have the technical expertise to explain RIM’s capabilities. Mike’s engineering skills solved problems that were plaguing the industry. The design of his smartphone struck gold, along with the nifty keyboard. A time jump to 2003 shows RIM’s market penetration and dominance. Users coined the term “crackberry” because they couldn’t put their phones down.
RIM conquered the world but fell victim to obstinacy and duplicity as another titan entered the game. Apple’s iPhone did the unthinkable. It completely removed the keyboard for a full-screen interface. In one thrilling scene, Mike and Doug watch Steve Jobs’ legendary presentation, stunned by the very different reactions. Doug, scared but still an integral player, recognized that he would have to change his thought process. Mike refuses to believe that consumers will give up on keyboards. This lack of foresight deals a serious blow as government monitors investigate Jim’s machinations.
Johnson (The Dirty, Operation Avalanchea personal craft comedy Story with a moral compass. RIM started as a dedicated team of smart dudes. Jim brought discipline and needed guidance but fundamentally changed the company culture. He got amazing success. Blackberry A humorous reminder that greatness is never guaranteed. Canada’s once most valuable company is a pale shell of its former self.
Blackberry A production of Rhombus Media and Zapruder Films. It will release in theaters on May 12 IFC Films,