El Camino – A Breaking Bad Review

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

Going back to something perfect can be tricky especially when it is as revered as Breaking Bad. But what Vince Gilligan has done with El Camino is quite smart here. He probably expects the audience to want a lot to happen. And it would have been too easy for him to bring back all our favorite cast members and it would have ended up as a chaotic film. Gilligan doesn’t do that, instead he focuses on one man alone, Jesse Pinkman. The film feels more like an extended episode of the show and that works well in my opinion. Other people might be expecting something a little more cinematic but that isn’t really going to work in the Breaking Bad universe.

I was personally happy see to Todd who might just the scariest villain on Breaking Bad. And it was a nice touch to show how his relationship with Jesse was during the latter’s time in captivity. El Camino also has a real whistle worthy momentwhen Jesse kills the guy from Kandy Welding Co. The scene where they show up at Todd’s house and the one in their warehouse are two of the best stretches of El Camino. Gilligan has structured this to feel more like an epilogue than anything that might push the show forward. But regardless of what happens in El Camino I’d like to really these people to return to this world.

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The last we saw of Jesse was at the end of ‘Felina’ where he escaped from his captors and drove into the night screaming like a maniac. It has been little more than 6 years to the day that the finale aired and we have been dying to see what happened to Jesse. Well, we get the answer and the way we arrive there is a throwback to the intricate plotting we know Gilligan can come up with. El Camino shows how difficult life still is for Jesse even if he has escaped from a hellish situation. And to see him at the end, driving away to his new life in Alaska filled my heart with joy. Even at the end of ‘Felina’ he was probably more relieved than anything to get away. But here, he knows that things are going to be different and after seeing him suffer for so long, it was nice to see him get a happy ending. At least, this is as happy as he’s going to be given the situation he finds himself in.

One of the best aspects of Breaking Bad has been it’s dialogue and cinematography and that is at its best here. The movie written by Gilligan himself has all the trademarks of what you would expect from the creator of the show. Marshall Adams who handles the camera gets to show off even more gorgeous scenery in America. I’m probably clutching at straws here but there is a parallel that I found. The shot of Jesse and Todd alone in the desert can be mirrored with the one of Jesse and Ed in the Alaskan wilderness. It shows how far he’s come, for a new life. Jesse gets the break he wants and perhaps this is a new lease of life for TV shows as well. Maybe we can get to see more such movies or extended episodes that help bring closure to a show. For now, I want to thank Vince Gilligan for deciding to revisit this world with El Camino. I’d also like to thank Aaron Paul for living the role of Jesse. A man who has plumbed the depths of hell and has risen not like a phoenix but just enough to get him out of the dirt.

Until next time, bye.

 

 

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