|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Original title:||Escobar: Paradise Lost|
|Genre:||Thriller, Drama, Romance|
|Direction:||Andrea di Stefano|
|Production country:||Frankreich 2014|
|Running time:||Approx. 119 min.|
|Rated:||From 16 years|
Nick Brady (Josh Hutcherson) and his brother Dylan (Brady Corbet) dream of paradise. They plan to open a surf school together on the Colombian coast. Surfing, relaxing on a dream beach, just enjoying life - that's what they want their future to look like. Although they clash with a gang right at the beginning of their stay, they don't want to let their dream be destroyed. And for Nick in particular, it seems to come true sooner than he thought when he meets the beautiful Maria (Claudia Traisac) and the two immediately fall in love. The fact that Maria is the niece of the notorious Pablo Escobar (Benicio del Toro) doesn't worry Nick at first. Even when the nice uncle takes care of the problem with the gang, the young Canadian sees no danger in it yet. But the closer his relationship with Escobar becomes, the more he gets involved in the unscrupulous machinations of the Medellin cartel. Getting out of there could have deadly consequences not only for him, but also for his brother and Maria...
With his directorial debut Escobar - Paradise Lost, actor Andrea di Stefano delivers a very special gangster thriller. He lets fictional characters like Nick and Maria live through a nightmare of a particularly bad kind against a real background. His aim is not to stage a kind of biopic about Pablo Escobar. Rather, he uses facts, but also legends, to tell an exciting story between romance and thriller. He thrillingly traces how a carefree young man falls under the spell of a powerful drug lord, how he succumbs to the fascination of the life that the patrón makes possible for them, before they realize how high the price they have to pay for it is.
The film consists of two parts, so to speak. The first part is the flashback to when Nick and Maria first met, their first meetings with Uncle Pablo, and a supposedly harmonious time over which dark clouds only slowly gather. The second part takes place a few months later. The situation threatens to escalate here and Nick is desperate to escape Colombia with Maria. But before that, he is supposed to experience an assignment for Escobar, which quickly brings him to his moral limit. But he knows it's his only chance to actually escape this hell. The whole thing culminates in a furious finale that boasts some extreme moments of suspense.
Admittedly, you can tell the story is fictional. In some moments it seems a bit contrived. And also those who expect to learn something about the person Pablo Escobar and about the Medellin cartel will certainly be disappointed. But that doesn't change much about the enormous tension that is built up especially in the second half of the film. The atmospheric camerawork and the intense acting by an outstanding Benicio Del Toro also console over any dramaturgical weaknesses. In addition to Del Toro, who clearly dominates every scene he appears in, however, The Tribute to Panem star Josh Hutcherson also does more than solidly.
Escobar - Paradise Lost is a gangster epic in the classic sense, shifting from a tender love story to a deadly game of cat-and-mouse while scoring points with great acting and atmospheric locations. Not a masterpiece, but convincing on almost all counts. And for that there is a very clear: Worth seeing!!
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp