The Jakarta Post
Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem attend the premiere of the movie 'Loving Pablo' during the 74th Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy. (Shutterstock/Andrea Raffin)
Contrary to his notorious image as a Colombian cocaine baron, Pablo Escobar is also portrayed as a loving husband and father in the new biopic Loving Pablo. This movie is an adaptation of the memoir Loving Pablo, Hating Escobar, penned by Virginia Vallejo, a journalist and TV anchorwoman.
The journalist, now a political asylee in the United States, is known to have had a love affair with Pablo for a few years in the 1980s. And what makes this biopic more intriguing is the fact that Pablo and Virginia are played by the Spanish power couple Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz.
Javier’s Pablo succeeds in creating a disturbing image of a drug lord who loves to sit around with his beer belly exposed, going to all extents to get everything he wants.
His generosity as a lover, husband, friend and public figure, on the contrary, shows his gentle side. Those who sympathize may wish to say, “Come on Pablo, stop selling drugs. You have enough money already.”
As we all know, however, he would not. He often said he would stop doing something bad, but he didn’t, like when his wife Victoria told him to stop seeing his anchorwoman lover. Pablo immediately said it was over at that very moment, the couple kissed and made up, and about nine months later they had a baby daughter, Manuela.
Pablo didn’t seem to end his affair at that moment. But his love for his expanding family didn’t fade.
We may agree if some people say there is a strong air of soap opera in the movie, but the images are more pleasing to the eyes, with the exception of some gory torture and murders.
Moreover, those who are into fashion may appreciate Virginia’s wardrobe, often completed with a pair of stiletto heels.
Tragedy after tragedy occurs toward the end of the movie. The desperate journalist takes every measure she can to secure herself, as her career goes into jeopardy and she becomes somewhat disconnected from her wealthy family. Meanwhile, the drug lord is on the run.
Although we all know that Virginia lived to tell the story and write the memoir, her fears during the horrific era of narcoterrorism were convincing. But the tumultuous era was far more fearsome to Pablo, whose love for his family was portrayed convincingly by the movie until his last breath.