#REVIEW: “ESCOBAR: PARADISE LOST”
Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
First-time Writer/Director Andrea Di Stefano tackles the challenging task of creating a Film centered around one of the most notorious drug Kingpins in the World in Escobar: Paradise Lost. Despite the Film not being a Story on Escobar himself but more a Film about a boy who meets a girl, discovering that her Uncle is none other than Pablo Escobar. The Movie is extremely captivating as it focuses on the struggle being associated with an infamous Drug Dealer. The Cast delivers compelling performances that truly carry any fault that the Film encounters.
The Movie focuses on a relationship carried by Nick (Josh Hutcherson) and his love interest Maria (Claudia Traisac). With Nick and Maria’s relationship intensifying, she decides it is time to take him home and meet the Family. Unfortunately,Nick doesn’t know that Maria’s Uncle (Benicio Del Toro) happens to be the named Kingpin until he becomes too emotionally-invested. With Pablo testing the limits of Nick and Maria’s relationship, things heat-up in this Drama/Action/Thriller which was one of the biggest Sleeper Surprises at this past year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
Josh Hutcherson of The Hunger Games fame has proven that he is capable of a challenge than anything we’ve seen him in thus far, as his role of Nick captures the Audience; we see the World solely through his eyes thoughout. As well, Claudia Traisac in one of her first American-ish roles, delivers a performance that captures the quintessential Damsel-in-Distress in desperate search of a an escape from her Uncle and family life. Benicio Del Toro delivers a chilling performance as he portrays the terrifying war- mongering Kingpin, Pablo Escobar. The entire Cast delivers performances that carry the Film beyond all expectations.
Escobar: Paradise Lost is a fantastic Film that gives a wider Audience a look a secretive World behind the doors of Man of Mystery. Though the Film is not a Documentary, one must think that some of the lengths he went to in the Film have merit to their point. Despite occasional lagging in pace, the Cast ultimately keeps our interest as the Film dives into a World uncomfortable to most.
Escobar: Paradise Lost is a Film surely not to be missed. VVS Films release Escobar: Paradise Lost on Friday, January 16, 2015.