Narcos (2015 – 2017) – The Pivotal Series for Netflix

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In every venture there is a turning point and Narcos by Netflix acted as a perfect pivot to launch the platform into spaces unprecedented. The audience engagement was so sublime that it felt like a breath of fresh air for the viewers.


The Cast and Emulating Past

Pablo Escobar had a larger than life attitude and several attempts were made to en-cash the real life of Escobar but it was never impactful enough to make a mass murderer, a character that can acquire the empathy of the viewers while being the main antagonist of the series.

Wagner Moura in the pilot episode breaks the aforementioned hindrances by shattering the viewer count with a single scene where he reveals that he is “Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria” as it makes the scene uncomfortably astonishing in a very good way. With the constant increase in power of Escobar, Wagner Moura ensures that he embodies the character’s proxemics and the sheer cold blooded stare of death with a smile which is closest to what you can get to the actual mugshot of Pablo Escobar’s first arrest.

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On the other hand Pedro Pascal and Boyd Holbrook made sure they did justice to the real life struggles of Javier Pena and Steve Murphy respectively. The Narcos DEA agents made sure the protagonists’ part of strife is beautifully represented against one of the most notorious criminals, Pablo Escobar.


More addictive than Escobar’s Cocaine!

What made Narcos one of most sought after series of Netflix was the cinematic approach to make sure every episode was crafted in a way that it always had a cliffhanger which was almost addictive as the curiosity made the viewers binge watch it in one sitting, some even had reruns till the next season was dropped by Netflix (I was one of them). The storytelling was so engrossing that time flew by and the viewers couldn’t even fathom that it has been hours since they started watching Narcos.


Justice To The Character Arcs.

The increase of technology has ensured we can search for anything while sitting on the toilet seat and almost every person who remotely knew about Escobar was aware about the whole story but the portrayal was so artistically different that everyone was watching as if the real life scenarios would be different and the reason was simply amazing cinematography and on point acting by the cast with a blend of subliminal location selection and set management.

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The three part series deals with the rise in the season 1, the peak is witnessed is the season 2 of Narcos and the third obviously being the downfall of the Escobar empire, brick by brick. The approach is so simple but the portrayal was unprecedented and that is how it garnered the success which surpassed almost every other iteration of Escobar ever.

The character arc of Escobar was completed in the season 3 as his legacy was even more interesting and Wagner Moura till his last lines delivered a commendable performance so much so that Narcos: Mexico had a Moura cameo to en-cash on the legacy created by Narcos and specifically Pablo Escobar.


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If you haven’t watched it just do it. It’s worth it and watching it in Spanish with English subtitles is the best way to go to ensure your experience is amplified.

“Plata O Plomo.”

Narcos is streaming on Netlfix.

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Shreshtha Shukla
"Thou art the suffering from which unwarranted melancholia emerges" Shreshtha Shukla is a writer, teacher, and a film enthusiast.

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