The story of George Jung, the man who established the American cocaine market in the 1970s. In the late 1960s, George Jung (Johnny Depp) moves to Miami, Florida, where he begins to sell weed to beach goers after discovering it upon his arrival there. For a few years, he has a steady trade going with a close group of friends, but eventually the law catches up with him. Whilst he is inside, he makes friends with a man from Colombia who has connections within the the cocaine trade there. The people in charge of that racket want to expand their market into the States, and this is where George comes in. He introduces America to cocaine and in return gets a wife, a daughter and a truck-load of money. Sadly though, we all know that crime doesn’t pay…
Blow was a good film – not brilliant, but I did very much enjoy it from start to finish and would consider seeing it again. The thing I really liked about it was the way it made you feel about the main character, George. The fact of the matter is that George Jung is a criminal. He is a drug dealer and smuggler, and he introduced cocaine to the U.S. But you can’t help but feel that he is a good person, if you can understand what I’m getting at. All he wanted was money so he wouldn’t be poor, because as a boy growing up, all the problems his family faced surrounded the issue of money, or lack there of it. His mother left him and his dad whenever they had no money, and life for them was hard. He didn’t want that as an adult, so he did, I suppose, what he had to do. But he never killed anybody, and there were no serious acts of violence carried out by him either. He just did what was required to get the cash, nothing more, so in a way, I admire huge guy. He was just trying to get by and have a decent life, and I can’t really fault him for that.
This brings me onto the actor that played George, because without the right performance, his story would be received the wrong way. Depp put on a show that really helped the audience to empathise with George. He portrayed him as a human being, not as some monster who was forcing the drugs down people’s throats, or up their noses as the case may be. It was a stellar performance – I felt for the man and could sort of justify his actions, therefore I think it’s fair to say that Depp did a quality job.
Penélope Cruz was something else! She played Mirtha Jung, George’s wife. Mirtha was a coked-up party animal who did not calm down at all over the years. She was a handful, to say the least. And I’d imagine to play a fiery Colombian coke head takes a bit of work, work that I believe Cruz was more than happy to put in because she nailed it. She spent a great deal of her time just screaming at George, especially when they had to come down in the world a peg or two. She basically was a younger model of George’s mum; all she was ever really concerned about was the money, and when that finally ran out, she wanted little or nothing to do with him.
The other thing I liked was the ‘rockstar’ lifestyle that it showed him having. It kind of made the film unbiased – the issues in his childhood made you sympathise for him, and now all the sex, drugs and rock’n’roll made you potentially see him as a total sleaze. Both aspects left you to make up your own mind – it wasn’t rammed down your throat that you should feel this way or that about him. This then, for me, stills showed him as a genuine person – yes, he had wild times, but when it all came down to it, those closest to him were all that really mattered, and most importantly it showed that George would step away from the drugs business in an instant for his family.
I would definitely say that Blow is one to watch. It won’t be the watery film you’ll see all year, but it’s still worth a couple of hours of your time. It actually depicts some very beautiful relationships, and a man who is willing to do best by everyone around him no matter what.