Friday, May 7, 2021

The Boy From Medellin Review: An Intimate Look At The International Superstar

Release date: May 7, 2021
Running time: 95 minutes
Directed and Produced by Matthew Heineman
Starring Jose Alvaro Osorio Balvin

From Academy Award®-nominee and Emmy-winning filmmaker Matthew Heineman (Cartel Land, City of Ghosts, A Private War) comes an astonishingly intimate portrait of one of the biggest international music superstars of our time. THE BOY FROM MEDELLÍN follows J Balvin as he prepares for the most important concert of his career--a sold-out stadium show in his hometown of Medellín, Colombia. But as the performance draws ever closer, the streets explode with growing political unrest, forcing the Latin Grammy-winning musician to wrestle with his responsibility as an artist to his country and his legions of fans around the globe. As the public pressure of the approaching concert heightens, behind the scenes Balvin also continues to deal with the anxiety and depression that has plagued him for years. Shot entirely in the dramatic week leading up to the concert, the film gives and intimate and up close look at this superstar.

The Boy From Medellin does give an intimate look at the international superstar, including going back to his roots and showing where he grew up.  It is a surprisingly candid and unfiltered look at the superstar.  J Balvin speaks his mind and is very open with his life and his struggles with mental health.  I really loved seeing how honest he was in discussing his life and his career; Balvin spoke openly about dealing with depression and his need for help.  And you get a real time look at this as Balvin is also open about his growing anxiety as the biggest concert of his career grows closer. It was insightful to see him deal with stress, anxiety, and his fear of failure despite everything he has.  Sure, Balivin has a great life, but he has worked hard to get there and having a good life doesn't make you immune from depression.  

The film also gives you a look at Balvin's inner circle; those who he relies on and trusts to help guide his life and decisions.  Those are also interesting to watch as you get to see some people that knew him before he was a superstar.  It is fun to see these people interact with him as Jose and not as the musician.  But I also loved seeing Balvin interact with his fans.  The man seems to be a genuinely good person who loves his fans and those around him.  He stops all the time for pictures, autographs, and other interactions and it seems like he is genuine in this love of other people.  But the film does have a slow pace as it sometimes deals with his own mental insecurities.  This can lead to sections where not much happens as he gets treatment or tries to overcome his own anxiety.  These are important themes but they can disrupt the pace of the film.  And if you don't know who Balvin is, seeing an intimate portrait of his life might not be the most engaging thing.  But for fans, The Boy From Medellin gives you a close up look at this international star and some of the reasons why he is so popular.

The Boy From Medellin gives an intimate look at the international superstar, with unfiltered access to his life, his struggles with anxiety and depression, and his genuine joy at performing.

Rent it.

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Without Remorse is available on Amazon Prime Video on April 30, 2020.

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