Netflix drug drama 'Narcos' blurs line between cartels, agents
By Piya Sinha-Roy
LOS ANGELES Aug 28 (Reuters) - Not all cops are good guys and not all drug suppliers are obvious villains in Netflix Inc's dark drug drama "Narcos," a bilingual examination of the history of cocaine smuggling in America and its most menacing supplier.
"Narcos," premiering across all Netflix territories on Friday, explores the origins of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar and the tense relationship between his Medellin cartel and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as cocaine use became widespread among Americans in the 1980s.
While Escobar, who was killed in 1993, was known as one of the drug world's wealthiest and ruthless criminals, "Narcos" attempts to understand the man behind the myth and those who strived to bring him down.
Blurring the lines between good and bad was easy enough, said Brazilian director and producer Jose Padilha, because "all we had to do was not pretend that the lines were there."
"We're not doing a movie where ... the bad guy is the guy who produces drugs and the superhero is whomever represents the American government, and the victim is the guy consuming drugs," Padilha said. "We didn't do this at all for the simple fact that this is not even close to what the reality is."
To play Escobar, Brazilian actor Wagner Moura had to learn Spanish in six months and prepared by reading as much as possible on the drug lord as well as modern Colombian history.
"I was searching for this guy, I was trying to understand who he was," Moura said.
He also observed other actors playing Escobar, such as Andres Parra in Colombian TV show "Pablo Escobar, El Patron Del Mal," and Puerto Rican actor Benicio Del Toro in this year's film "Escobar: Paradise Lost." Continuación...