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Narcos Season 1 – Review

Narcos Season 1 – Review

Movie Reviews this week looks at the very well made narcotics true crime series Narcos Season 1.
It tells the story of notorious Colombian drugs kingpin Pablo Escobar played impressively by Wagner Moura (Spider in Elysium). It isn’t quite a biography as it picks up his story with Escobar already a well known drugs smuggler having progressed from smuggling marijuana with his network of smuggling routes.
The story of the Colombian drug wars is told from the point of view of a local U.S. DEA(Drug and Enforcement Agency) officer Steve Murphy, played by Boyd Holbrook (Gone Girl).

We start his story with Agent Murphy arresting hippies for smoking marijuana in the U.S. but having seen the devastative effects of cocaine on the human brain (there’s a very drastic comparison at the beginning that sheds light on this), he is propelled to do something about it, and moves to Colombia, with his wife Connie, played by the gorgeous Joanna Christie (Misfits).
In Colombia he is assisted by Horacio Carrillo played by Maurice Compte (Breaking Bad), and his American partner in the DEA, Javier Pena played by Pedro Pascal (more familiar as the Scorpion in Game of Thrones). The fact that Agent Murphy doesn’t speak the language presents him a barrier when dealing with informants and criminals. That however is the least of his problem, as trying to take down a Colombian drug lord, he meets the inevitable wall of corruption, that seeps right into the government, that gives him and his agency a level of frustration rarely encountered before; not knowing who to trust.

Some of the scenes were done for dramatic content, but regardless the known true parts of the story will leave viewers unfamilar with the Pablo Escobar story shocked as to how one man could single handedly cause so much chaos in a country.

In light of what is known about his activities, Escobar is presented at all times neither a hero nor a villain, his story is simply told along with true events at the time. In his relationship with his wife, and mother, and children, and close cousin Gustavo Gaviria played by Juan Pablo Raba, he is presented favourably, and his constant donations to the poor did help him ingrain himself to many of the poor and disenfranchised of Colombia. We get little insights as to how many of the population viewed him, even with pictures in certain areas of him being presented as a saint. Giving hard cash to people to encourage them to vote by proxy for him did go a great deal to entrench him with many of the people.

The shocking body count and ease of loss of life during this “Narcotics war” is neither shied from nor hidden, and surprisingly actual footage and pictures are intertwined with the story line, giving it that realistic touch, almost like a docu-drama.

Although the end result is well known, how that was achieved, and the tussle between Escobar, the Colombian government, the police, the DEA, the US government and many other organisations is intriguing to watch, which makes this series compelling.

Narcos Season 1 is an intriguing insight into one of the most violent eras during the last 30-40 years in the drugs war, and emphasizes how power corrupts.

Movie Reviews is constantly updated with great reviews of good movies you don’t want to miss.

Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura) stares at a load of cash

Movie Reviews is constantly updated with good reviews of great movies you don’t want to miss.

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