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The Boy from Medellín (2021) movie review

Considering that reggaeton was exported from Puerto Rico to the rest of the Americas, the doc could have benefited from a slightly broader look at its history in the South American country and Balvín’s position within this incredibly popular and popular genre. rapid mutation. Colombia is currently a major hub for reggaeton, home to some of the most successful artists in this musical style.

Less visible is the awareness of how many people support all aspects of Balvín’s life so that he could eventually take the stage in venues around the world: from administration to his health and support system. emotional. It takes a village.

During the week of intense stress, with his vocal cords working and Colombians demanding a declaration, there are visits from his spiritual advisor, psychiatrist and doctor; as well as interactions with his assistant, girlfriend, longtime friends, and other peripheral people whose roles are not explicitly explained. Everything seems essential to him.

Through Balvín’s difficulties, Heineman invites us to reflect on the way in which artists have become in our eyes a commodity and dissociated from their humanity. This is not a call for pity or compassion, but to investigate our expectations of them as people and not just as distant characters.

Do we sometimes demand more from those who are paid to provide entertainment than elected officials? Probably. Have we confused their large platforms with the duty to offer solutions or to change things? It appears to be the case. And while it is not unreasonable to ask those in these positions to use their power for good, the pressure of mass opinion tends to get out of hand.

“The Boy from Medellín” confronts José Álvaro Osorio Balvín with J. Balvin at a critical moment in his career, and more significantly for the future of his homeland. At the heart of these conjectures is his favorite song, “El Cantante” by Puerto Rican singer Héctor Lavoe, which got a biopic a few years ago. The lyrics are about a singer’s obligation to have fun in front of a paying audience, forget about their own tribulations, and project what the world wants to see. On stage, the screams of the crowd shower him with glory, but the deceptive glow disappears when he descends.

Now available on Amazon.

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