Griselda Review

All right. So I’ve heard the name Griselda for a long time, whether that’s from the Buffalo rap group who named themselves after her or through documentaries that have come out like cocaine Cowboys.

Netflix just dropped a six episode mini series biopic detailing her life, and I watched the whole thing. So this is my spoiler-free review. I will, however, be talking about the series in pretty broad strokes. So if you don’t know anything at all about who Griselda was, then there might be some very mild spoilers.

Cast and Crew

Griselda stars Sofia Vergara. And she’s such a big star that I feel like everybody knows her. But I don’t know if I’ve seen her in anything where she holds down a lead role quite like she does here. So I was rooting for her to win here.

It also stars Juliana Aidan Martinez and Alberto Guerrero. and all six episodes are directed by Andreas B.S.

The Story

So this show basically follows the rise and fall of Griselda Blanco. She’s a pretty tough lady. She started from a very humble beginnings and rose all the way to the very top of the cocaine trade in Miami.

Then like most stories like this, things come crashing back down. But this series is a little bit different because we rarely get to see women placed in power roles in these types of worlds. Griselda Blanco definitely took over this male dominated spot in a real way. It’s impressive to say, but she didn’t get there by being squeaky clean. The bodies pile up throughout the series, some of those being her enemies and some being people that she suspected might be.

While she was building her empire in the drug world, we also see the FBI on her butt the whole way building a case on her. But she stays just barely out of their reach. And it was really cool just seeing how they were following her moves.

Since this is a period piece showcase in the eighties, I thought everything they did supporting that was really cool too. I’m talking about the cars, the music and nightlife, the clothing, the kinds of drugs people were using. The technology and things like the TVs, the phones and pagers. They really did a great job with all of that stuff.

The Performances

If we’re talking about performances, you really have to give it up. For Sofia Vergara. She put this series on her shoulders and crushed it from top to bottom. You could feel the passion and the fight and desire to rise to the top and the determination to never go back to that hill that she originally came from. there. She has some great monologues here that definitely need to be sampled. The rap songs or quoted for years to come.

I loved her pep talks to her hundreds of goons there sounded like something that Leonidas would have said to his hundreds of soldiers in the 300 she had to all of that with ease. And then there were the moments where she had to deal with death or something that happened. She shows Griselda his paranoia at some points. And she believably handled all of that and embody the character for Bravo.

Julia Ada martinez was great as her counterpart in the FBI, who similarly performed really highly in a typically male dominated role and fought for her respect. Then the rest of the drug lords and cartel members and people orbiting Blanco’s world were all great here, too. Some of them were based on real people, and I imagine in some of them were fictitious. But I loved it all

The Action

Along with this setting comes a lot of gunfights and explosions, scenes. We even get some machete action. And all of that was handled really well and shot with style. It was mostly used as a tool to show how wild things were here, how dangerous of a profession this was, and that all the parties involved were definitely not playing. There wasn’t a huge amount of it, but it was a huge statement any time that guns came out.

The Verdict

So this was great. I’m impressed. I put this high on my list of films and series within this genre, and it further cements the name of Griselda Blanco in infamy as someone who won’t be forgotten. Right next to the Pablo Escobar is an El Chapo’s.

This is a great successor to the Narco series. And if you like that, and I feel like you’ll enjoy this too.

My only real criticisms are one, the length. I feel like this could have been a two hour movie and still probably would have had that same punch. And then the story overall isn’t particularly inventive or original. We’ve definitely seen stuff like this before, but still well done.