The movie Blow was the third movie released in 2001 that submerged the America waste deep into the drug culture, following Traffic and Requiem for a Dream. Unlike Traffic and Requiem for a Dream, Blow hits the drug culture from another point of view, the dealers. George Jung, played by Johnny Depp, is a free spirited young man from Boston who decides to move out to California with his best friend Tuna. California Turns into one big party for George and Tuna. When all the money is spent Tuna has the idea to sell weed to make there living. In just a few short months Boston George is hooking up the entire surrounding community.
This movie was a good opportunity for Johnny Depp to show the range he has in his acting. He was able to go from a fresh-faced twenty year old who was full of hope and ambition to a fifty-year old man who has been broken by life.
The emotion is truly brought out by the inspirational relationship between George and father Fred Jung, played by Ray Liota. He was able to bring a whole new point of view upon a drug dealer, trying to send the message of what Georges true priorities in life were. Rachel Griffiths ties the whole family together with her stubborn ways, that would not accept Georges way of life. Altogether, the actors seemed very comfortable working with each other which just added to the emotion of the movie. I thought that the soundtrack from the movie has been one of the better soundtracks to have come out in the past few years. The line up of the drug related classic rock songs were essential in this movie. They really helped in portraying the time sequences in the movie. Starting with the more classic rock songs of the seventies, moving into the flashy Miami Vice tunes of the eighties.
The lighting through out the movie fit the tone. The director kept the scenes darker during the hard time in Jungs life. In someways, it seems as though the movie is trying to glorify the job of a drug dealer. With the luxuries and Riches that it brings to George in his family. But it is all brought back to what Georges father tells him in the beginning after their family goes bankrupt.
"Money isn't real. It doesn't matter; it only seems like it does." A lesson which will affect George more that he could imagine. Throughout the movie I was convinced that it was glorifying the life of a drug lord, until everything starts to fall apart. Which Blow shows as the inevitable path of a drug dealer.
In the end, I felt that the movie was not so much about drugs as it is about generational dynamics; From father to son to daughter. Blow has a way of really making you think about how much the loved ones in your life really matter to you. No matter what, Georges father supported him with everything that he did. Even when he skipped bail and was on the run from the cops, Georges father still took him in and gave him shelter.
Although this is not a movie about drug users, it gives an insightful glimpse on the production and distribution of different drugs, mainly Coke. It shows the growing farm for the Cocaine plant in Columbia, and the factory that it goes through in the beginning of the movie. From production, Blow goes on to show some of te dynamics of the illegal trade, from transport to the small time trafficking that goes on within the states. As well as the luxuries and consequences in between.
One negative thing that I felt about Blow was that it is almost a second generation Scarface, with more emotion and less action. Much of the storyline could have fallowed what happened in Scarface, taking away the originality of the movie.
All around this was a well written movie, that will suck you in and will leave you with sympathy for a drug dealer. It is a surprisingly powerful movie that has a weird way of altering your perception towards someone who becomes a drug lord. Demme, the director, is careful to never show any of the "victims" of George's business. This would have unbalanced the rhythm of the movie.
I found it to be a movie showing that the boatloads of easy money from the drug world can blind ones true intentions in life. Giving you everything that you could have ever imagined in life, but risking losing it all in an instant. All in all, the movie was thoroughly enjoyable, and I would give five out of five stars. It was worth the seven dollars to see it in the theaters, and worth the $15 for the DVD. This movie just hits too close to home for me to not enjoy. If there is one message that Blow is sending, it is that money is not real, what is real is the relationships with the people closest to you. Something which George is blinded too, and does not understand until it is all over.