A Review Of The Two Escobars (Part of ESPN’s 30 For 30): One Of The Best Films About The Beautiful Game
ESPN is continuing their 30 for 30 which features different films on varying subjects from the sports world during the past 30 years (since ESPN started in 1979). One of the films which recently premiered was “The Two Escobars” which chronicles Colombian National Team defender and captain Andres Escobar along with famous drug trafficker Pablo Escobar. Below is a review of the film which I would highly suggest to anyone even if you aren’t a huge fan of the beautiful game or sports at all.
“The Two Escobars” Review
The film goes through the career of Andres Escobar who rose to prominence playing for Nacional in the Colombian league. He took advantage of his opportunities and would be apart of a golden age in Colombian Football. Nacional would win the Copa Libertadoes, which is probably the second best club competition after the UEFA Champions League.
Escobar was a defender and a rising star in his country. Before traveling to the 1994 World Cup, he had an offer to go play at AC Milan in which he would been the first Colombian to play for that club. The film does a great job of explaining who Andres was by talking to his teammates, fiancee, family, friends, and those who knew him well. According to all those in the film, Andres was a class act on and off the pitch. He was nicknamed the “Gentleman of Football” and is still widely respected on Colombia.
Besides Andres, the film discusses Pablo and his rise as a wealthy drug dealer. The story starts to collide the two subjects when the filmmakers goes into detail about how much Pablo loved football. When he became wealthy, Pablo would donate money to build soccer fields for the youth to be able to play the game.
Pablo would continue his involvement with the sport by eventually investing money in professional teams including Nacional. He had build relationships with most of the players and considered them friends. Andres was one of these players although his friends and family state that he never felt comfortable about the connection.
The film sets up the story by introducing both Escobars and a little bit about Colombia. It’s a country, just like other South American places, where football is a passion and a religion of its own.
I’ve watched all the ESPN’s 30 for 30 and I will say that I’ve been very impressed with all of them. Not all are exceptional but this one certainly deserves that adjective. You don’t have to be a fan of football/soccer to enjoy the film and see how sports star could be gunned down because of a mistake in the World Cup.
There are a lot of subtitles in the film (be ready to read) but I didn’t find it annoying. It’s better to have someone speak in their native language than try to speak in English where they often can’t express themselves as well. There are some English speakers in the movie but only a few.
The film premiered on ESPN recently and will be airing several times in the upcoming weeks on their family of networks. I highly recommend the film as it gives a glimpse into football in South America and tells the tragic story of a great player who had his life ended abruptly.
To view the upcoming shows on tv, check out the link here.
“The Two Escobars” is directed by Michael Zimbalist and Jeff Zimbalist