Confession: Despite my admiration for Benicio Del Toro, I wasn’t expecting much from “Escobar: Paradise Lost”. I was wrong. First of all, no one who cares about organic film acting (the opposite of showing off) will want to miss del Toro’s magnificent performance as Escobar, the Colombian kingpin who was often labeled “The King Of Cocaine” and who made it big in the 1980’s before his ultimate arrest in 1991. The movie isn’t entirely fact based, as it focuses on a fictional character called Nick (Josh Hutcherson), a Canadian who gradually enters Escobar’s dangerous world simply by falling in love with the man’s niece, Maria, played by Claudia Traisic. But still, Del Toro keeps you riveted. I’m not saying that the movie doesn’t hit a few bumps on the road to coherence. But writer director Andrea Di Stefano makes us feel as if we’re right in the middle of the action in Colombia. The result is chilling and truly frightening. And Del Toro stands up to Di Stefano’s relentless scrutiny. It’s a performance that grabs hold and won’t let go. Same goes for the movie.
Categories: 3/4, crime, drama, The Twenty-First Century
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