Wednesday, April 20, 2016

ESCOBAR: PARADISE LOST (2014)



Directed By: Andrea Di Stefano 
Written By: Andrea Di Stefano & Francesca Marciano 
Cinematography By: Luis David Sansans 
Editor: David Brenner & Maryline Monthieux 


Cast: Josh Hutcherson, Brady Corbet, Benicio Del Toro, Claudia Traisac, Ana Girardot, Carlos Bardem

Nicko and his brother take off from Canada in search of an easier life on the beaches of Colombia. Nicko meets a girl in the local village and they quickly fall in love, only for Nicko to later find out that Maria's uncle is the drug trafficker, Pablo Escobar. His life takes a dramatic turn after meeting El Patron, and Nick is forced into impossible situations to try and keep his family safe, but does Pablo have other ideas?

The film is really shocking in it's brutality and cruelty. The film shows, considering when the film first begins you believe it will probably stay on the fringes. Though slowly the film brings you in deeper as the character does. Until we are all in the middle.

Benicio Del Toro is top notch though he is in throughout the film. Kind of haunting the scenes have isn't in. He appears only in probably less then half of the film. You want to see more of him. Though him being a phantom character worked well. Like a horror film villain, you can't wait to appear. Just as mean spirited. Luckily the film doesn't turn into a biography of his crimes.

What is not too hard to believe is that the main character doesn't hide disillusionment well so I would suspect or not totally trust him one hundred percent either.

Hard to believe he didn't see how dangerous and deadly he is though fictional was still riveting. as at first thought it was based on a true story then realized it was impossible. For that reason thought the film would be filled with more hope

The last act is thrilling and filled with tension. Not so much action. The beginning of the film is kind of confusing as it seems to have quick flashes of aftermath edited together, but you can tell happened in different time periods.

I believe the film works just as it does for people discovering Pablo Escobar. At first he seems like a genial nice guy. The buoy realize how ruthless, violent and brutal he can be. Just as the violence in the film comes more in the second half of the film.

Josh Hutcherson does what is required doesn't really become effective until the last act when everything is on the line and vital as he is trying to escape. Though you wonder why his family didn't leave earlier?

Too bad he doesn't match the performance he is playing off of, but then again one is an acclaimed seasoned actor playing a charismatic larger thsn life role. At least he gets to try to match him. He stands his own, but not as memorable.

Would have been interested to learn more about the history of Pablo Escobar though enough films, television, Nolan and information. This has a nice general overview.

It's not a undercover tale, more a should have known better and what if kind of movies. Related it for more an American audience by putting a character we can relate to in this international situation and sensation.

Part of Making film more then just a potboiler, is slowly presenting the thriller and dangerous moments and making the film about Pablo Escobar. Even if he is more in the background. even though the canadian’s story could have been any random Colombians story who happened to cross paths close to Pablo Escobar.

Wish the film set it's roots a little more rather than seeming like it speeds up to match its thriller premise when at first seems more like a drama.

Also not believable when he has tons of family, children, siblings that he moves his niece and her boyfriend into his living quarters. Even if he is Canadian. One would think he could use him more as an asset instead of all of a sudden seeing him as a burden.

One could see if it was more a result of him testing him and failing instead guessing he needed job done and all who could know except for him. The vital details eliminated, where as henchman only know beginning and end. They don't know the middle

Grade: C+

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