In the film Escobar: Paradise Lost, the editing generates excitement and anxiety, creating an interesting and spacial style that reflects a cinematic signature for Andrea Di Stefano’s impressive debut as a director. In addition, the hand held camera movement in every scene makes us feel emotions and sensations from Nick’s (Josh Hutcherson) point of view throughout the narrative. Furthermore, the very well detailed mis-en-scence reveals thorough study and research of locations, props, and costumes; intensity of colors and light in each frame are magnificent. Moreover, the efficient use of foreground, middle-ground, and background from beginning to end demonstrates a well-designed piece of art. In the plot, we find murder, corrupt governmental, news, and prison systems, a love story, and a web of lies crafted by power-hungry Pablo Escobar (Benicio Del Toro). It was important for the form not to get in the way of the content in order tell the story in a realistic way, involve the audience, and help them understand the social structure of Colombia at that time. Nick is the most important character in this love story, and he is an innocent victim, used as a marionette by Escobar, the world’s most dangerous person.
A Canadian surfer in Columbia (Josh Hutcherson) falls in love with a woman, then discovers her uncle is notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar (Benicio del Toro). The film starts as a low-key romance, but slowly turns darker, as the young man discovers Escobar's evil power. From there, it transforms into a somewhat suspenseful ride, as he struggles to escape the web of cruelty and murder. Hutcherson nicely captures the bewildered innocence of his plight, while del Toro creates a subdued villain with a human side. This film's quiet power evolves into a disturbing journey. Subtitles when Spanish is spoken.
Escobar: Paradise Lost employs this structure in a way that divides the movie neatly in half: one hour of tedious expository flashback followed by one hour of solidly exciting present-tense thriller action.
Showing the allure and gradual corruption of power through the eyes of a third party — sort of a mixture of "The Great Gatsby" and "Scarface" — is a solid conceit. But Andrea Di Stefano’s underbaked film doesn’t quite know what to do with it.
This is one of the greatest missed opportunities in recent cinema history: Del Toro looms more impressively on camera than he does in the marketing material, embodying a wicked man's perverse sense of family, honor, and self-interest.
The film takes its time to take off but when it does you are really invested in the fight for survival of this young man played by Josh Hutcherson. The actor gives his best performance to date and shows once again why he is a very likeable and appealing presence on **** main story is a love story, but it doesn´t become too corny. In fact, you are more moved by the decisions Josh´s character has to make and how his dignity ends winning the battle. Very recommendable little film.
I really hoped that this will be more about Escobar himself instead it was a love story about his daughter and a guy who was working there, how they met etc, and what Escobar made him do and how Escobar influenced his life. Maybe because I was expecting something a bit different I don't rate it that highly, even though Del Toro's performance was really good in my opinion and it is worth seeing it just because of that.
The always controversial figure of Pablo Escobar gets a new look in this film, but when turning to a story focused on being a romance and then a thriller, leaves you wondering if it was necessary to use the name of the man beyond attracting a different attention to the movie.
I do not consider it a mistake, but it lacks many elements to be a transcendental film.