Depp reaches deep as drug-dealer
in epic 'Blow'
Starring Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz
New Line Cinema
By Michelle Norton
Daily Cougar Staff
Expecting only illicit drugs, casual sex
and disco fever, one will be pleasantly surprised to find a poignant story
of a drug dealer's rise and fall in the new drama Blow.
Set in the midst of the 1970s drug revolution,
Blow follows the rise of the Columbian cartels and the introduction
of cocaine into the United States with the help of one ambitious American
entrepreneur, George Jung.
Played by Golden Globe nominatee Johnny
Depp, Jung vows to live a better life than his father, who is a construction
worker played by Ray Liotta (Goodfellas), which leads to his constant
pursuit of bigger and better things.
Deciding to leave home and strike out on
his own, Jung and his childhood friend move to California where he is first
introduced to a life of leisure. While there he meets his first love played
by Franka Potente of Run, Lola, Run, an airplane stewardess, who
introduces him to a marijuana dealer played by Paul Reuben (a.k.a Pee Wee
Blow is the true-life
tale of Eugene Jung, set in the wild times of the 1970s. Blow is
New Line Cinema
But in Jung's usual fashion he doesn't
dare stop with simple marijuana dealing. While serving time in jail, Jung
meets Diego Delgado played by Jordi Molla who sells him on the idea of
getting involved with the rising Columbian drug trade, cocaine. Jung and
Delgado then partner up with Pablo Escobar (Cliff Curtis) to export cocaine
to American shores.
In the midst of these adventures, Jung
meets a flamboyant socialite named Mirtha, played by Goya award winner
Penelope Cruz, whom he marries. Mirtha later gives birth to his child,
When everything seems to be going according
to plan with wall-to-wall boxes of money, a luxurious house and extravagant
cars, Jung discovers that you shouldn't strive for things out of your reach
or you will lose what is most valuable to you.
Directed by Ted Demme, who has worked on
such projects as Life with Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence and
Monument Avenue with Denis Leary, Blow offers a behind-the-scenes
look at the making and breaking of a drug dealer through a troubled childhood,
failed relationships, big breaks, betrayal and finally an epiphany that
comes too late.
Demme keeps the audience on its toes by
not allowing it to get too comfortable. By staying away from in-your-face
sex scenes and continuous violent acts, the audience is surprised by when
these scenes do happen and are able to experience them first-hand with
Through a variety of camera angles and
haze-filled sequences, Demme is able to project the feel of the 1970s.
With period costumes and funky musical scores, he also projects a time
when things seemed simpler on the surface but really weren't.
In a moving performance, Depp by far steals
the scenes and offers moviegoers a well-rounded character, allowing them
to be a part of his powerful emotional journey. Even with the heavy emphasis
on emotions, Depp still finds room to make his character humorous.
During his first stay in jail, Depp discovers
a hidden world where petty thieves can become master criminals by learning
from each other the secrets of the trade. In perhaps one of the funniest
lines of the movie, Depp's character proudly announces, "I entered with
a bachelor of marijuana and left with a doctorate of cocaine."
With a great cast and even better story
line, Blow is a surprising must-see. Hidden beneath what seems like
just a story about an ambitious drug dealer and his greed is a powerful
life lesson that will move audiences and tug at their heartstrings.