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Friday, May 7, 2021

The Boy from Medellín

Director: Matthew Heineman

Studio: Amazon Studios

Review: The Boy from Medellín

There were lots of documentary films centered on well-known musicians, but some didn’t reach people's eyes and minds in person, even when those films received a theatrical release or digital release, due to its political contents or something inappropriate for that order. This documentary tale is produced widely and exclusively on Amazon Prime Video, directed by Matthew Heineman and with J Balvin being the center of attention.

The Boy from Medellín focuses on a celebrity-musician J Balvin as he prepares for his most important concert of his career, located in his hometown of Medellín, Colombia. Though his problems became bitter with sourness when his performance drew closer, the streets exploded with growing political unrest. Because of the political turmoil, this causes (and forces) him to take matters on his own hands by wrestling his conscience and responsibility as an artist to his beloved country and his fans around the world.

Directing chores are handled by filmmaker Matthew Heineman who is experienced with producing documentary films and television sitcoms. He has been in the documentary movie-making business for many years as lots of people recognized him for his talents and peers. Among those films he contributed, he directed 2015’s Cartel Land for which he was nominated for Best Documentary Feature Oscar, a first in his movie career.

J Balvin narrates the story as he and the director have provided some touching stories about dealing with one’s anxiety and depression from time to time, learning how this situation can be dealt with at certain levels. Even when on his successful career as a musician, he still deals with all the troubles he has had like in the past before his music life aroused popularity. Though, the film and the filmmakers provide some darker images that might involve children in it, going against a strict, stern policy on crafting a documentary feature that shrieks J Balvin’s fans out.

With the colors and the pavement present, The Boy from Medellín is an ok, but touching 90-minute documentary flick that weaves the story and life of J Balvin into the mannerly proceedings. I really enjoyed it, but there are some downfalls I witnessed due to darker political tones the filmmakers have installed as if any film would want to be like this more, but at some point I just happened to pop my eyes out. This film is ok as I thought I enjoyed his nice music build-up career in this film rather than talking about politics, but if you love J Balvin so much, you might as well try this.


(Review by Henry Pham)

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