Timely movie

Published June 18, 2018, 9:44 AM

by Hannah Torregoza 

As the Philippines continues its strict war on drugs, VIVA International Pictures and MVP Entertainment present “Escobar (Loving Pablo),” a movie chronicling the rise and fall of the infamous Colombian tagged as the “King of All Narcos,” Pablo Escobar.

Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz in 'Escobar (Loving Pablo)' /mb.com.ph
Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz in ‘Escobar (Loving Pablo)’

Based on the best-selling book “Loving Pablo, Hating Escobar” by Virginia Vallejo, a distinguished journalist with whom Escobar had an affair with, it stars Academy Award winners and real-life husband and wife, Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz.

Several documentaries and feature films have already been done about this son of a farmer who, at one point, became the seventh richest person on the planet. But, Bardem and director Fernando León de Aranoa assure that their movie is nothing like what viewers have seen before.

According to Bardem, “’Escobar (Loving Pablo)’ begins when Pablo Escobar is already an established businessman, but people hadn’t yet figured out how he was making his money. He meets Virginia, and through their relationship and her platform, he soon becomes a powerful public figure with a voice for the people.”

What the people of Colombia didn’t know was that the man they were supporting always had a selfish motive behind his actions, and it was too late when they came to realize it.

“That’s where the movie starts” Bardem revealed, “and the story is that of the people around him as they realize what kind of a person he has become.”

As for de Aranoa, he believes Pablo found a confidant in Virginia, “someone who he could convey his innermost ideas and intentions, which makes her a unique character and gives our story a fresh perspective.”

Playing the significant role of Agent Shepard who is instrumental in the capture of Escobar is celebrated actor Peter Sarsgaard. It was Bardem who emailed him and offered him the role.

“One of the things that Javier baited me with when he was first talking about the movie, is that he said that I had a lot of scenes with Penelope.” He had worked with Cruz in the film “Elegy,” and he’s a fan of Bardem as well, so he readily said yes to doing this film with them.

Bardem emphasizes the movie, now in theaters, is about “about relationships – love, hate, greed, ambition.”