A caption at the beginning of Loving Pablo informs us that “This film is inspired by real events. Some of the characters, names, and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes." What they don't tell us is that even the protagonists’ nationalities and languages have been changed. Colombians Pablo Escobar and Virginia Vallejo are played by Spanish actors speaking English – or, at the very least, trying to; Javier Bardem's English is atrocious and Penelope Cruz's is abominable, and their Colombian accents are just as bad, if not worse. To confuse things further, the characters occasionally say some random words or phrases in Spanish. Now, I don't think it's asking too much of the audience to pretend that the characters are speaking Spanish among themselves even as the actors deliver their lines in English; after all Hemingway did something similar in For Whom the Bell Tolls. But if the characters are supposed to be speaking in their native language, shouldn’t they sound like native speakers? Also, the dialogue should be consistent; i.e., all English all the time – because otherwise, what language are they supposed to be speaking when they say something in Spanish? This is a Spanish film, about Spanish-speaking characters, written, produced and directed by Spaniards; why they felt the need to tell their story in any other language than that of Cervantes, I haven’t the foggiest. Except, of course, for the obvious reason of appealing to the Anglo-Saxon market, but in this case why go to the trouble of getting Spanish – especially big names like Bardem and Cruz – and Colombians actors, only to force them to recite most of their dialogue in English? If nothing else, they could have at least had the decency not to have Cruz narrate the movie.
please Login to add review