The Story of Blackberry’s Ascent and Decline And why the World Might be Ready for its Comeback

BlackBerry, absent from the smartphone market for several years, makes a return to public attention with “BlackBerry” – a comedic biopic featuring Jay Baruchel, Glenn Howerton, and director Matt Johnson.

The Story of Blackberry's Ascent and Decline And why the World Might be Ready for its Comeback
The Story of Blackberry’s Ascent and Decline And why the World Might be Ready for its Comeback

With the latest iPhone already in the hands of people and Google’s yearly Android flagship on the horizon, it’s a timely moment to launch a film about the once-iconic device that influenced both.

The Story of Blackberry’s Ascent and Decline 

BlackBerry has been absent from store shelves for years, and any remaining devices were essentially discontinued last January when the company behind them ended support.

It was an unceremonious conclusion for a device that revolutionized the world, one that not only found its way into boardrooms and offices (including a certain oval-shaped one) but also became a genuine fashion symbol.

Bringing it back into the limelight in 2023 is director Matt Johnson, who hails from the vicinity of BlackBerry’s Ontario headquarters.

Surprisingly, he claims to have no prior connection to the world’s first smartphone, despite all odds.

The product’s timeline fascinated me the most,” the 37-year-old remarks.

“I wanted to create a film about the transition from a primarily analog world to a more digital one that took place in the late 90s and early 2000s.”

“I was quite young during that time, and it was a fantastic chance to delve into that cultural environment, which is where I grew up.”

BlackBerry” (the movie, not the product) begins in 1996 at the tech company Research In Motion.

From Practical Innovation to Stardom: The BlackBerry Story on Film

During that period, the company’s group of engineers, although a bit unorganized, are unaware that they’re working on what could become one of their country’s most well-known exports since maple syrup.

Mike Lazaridis (played by Jay Baruchel) and his friend Douglas Fregin (played by Johnson) believe in their “PocketLink” concept for a phone that handles email, but they lack the business acumen to transform the idea into a reality.

Johnson explains that they were focused on addressing practical issues, with no vision of triggering a cultural revolution.

In comes the ruthless and opportunistic Jim Balsillie (portrayed by Glenn Howerton), who recognizes sufficient potential in the proposal to assertively secure his position as co-CEO. He also arranges a pitch with the U.S. telecommunications giant that would later become Verizon.

The film, adapted from the book “Losing The Signal,” takes creative liberties with the BlackBerry narrative. Real individuals involved have pointed out that certain portrayals are more akin to satire.

Balsillie is portrayed as a comically foul-mouthed figure in the corporate world, while Lazaridis and Fregin lead a group of nerds with an “almost hacker-style” vibe who enjoy video games and office movie nights.

What the film unquestionably captures is the BlackBerry brand’s rise to stardom.

Check These Out


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here