Eric Warner Staff Writer
What happens to a man who is broken? What happens to a man who has faced hordes of devils manifested in this seemingly right world and lived to tell the tale? Will he find the path to salvation or end up in damnation with his cohorts? These are the questions “El Camino” asks.
“El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” was released exclusively on Netflix and select theaters on Oct. 10. Written and directed by series creator Vince Gilligan, “El Camino” takes place immediately after the season 5 finale of “Breaking Bad” in 2013. It focuses on what happened to Jesse Pinkman, played brilliantly by Aaron Paul, after the end of the award-winning series. After being rescued by the dying Walter White from the demonic white supremacists who tortured him both mentally and physically, Jesse drives off in a Chevrolet El Camino to parts unknown.
This film should be viewed after watching the main series of “Breaking Bad.” Viewers who haven’t seen the show will most likely be confused by what’s happening in the film and, in turn, be less impacted by the events that transgress in the film. Essentially, “El Camino” is the epilogue to “Breaking Bad.”
“El Camino” means much more to this film than just the model of the car, however. “El Camino” translates roughly to the path or the way in English and that’s basically the theme for Jesse’s character arc in this film and the “Breaking Bad” series. From the moment viewers met Jesse Pinkman he’s always been a person trying to find his place in the world. Is he simply another young delinquent that his teachers and parents make him out to be or is he something more? Jesse has had problems with existentialism throughout the show with becoming addicted to drugs, a meth cook, a semi-father figure, a murderer, and a guardian of the innocent but the world constantly sends him to a low point whenever he thinks he has found his place. His girlfriend overdosed because of him, his career as a cook destroyed numerous families, and those connections with the drug trade got many people close to him killed. At the end of the series, Jesse was brought to his lowest by the white supremacists and ,to an extent, Walter White. He was broken mentally and physically leaving him with severe PTSD, but now he has a second chance to find his place in the world. He must find a way.
This film is ultimately about how a person deals with their inner demons. While some people can push them down and live with them until they infect their entire self, the strongest of wills can combat them head on and construct a new beginning to live in. People can make it through hell and back and still manage to survive despite the hardships. While Walter White showed viewers that anybody can become evil even for good reasons, Jesse Pinkman shows that anybody can find their place in the world and start fresh for the greater good no matter the horrors we may face. Somehow, despite all the odds, good people find the path to salvation. They find a way.
Vince Gilligan brought another fantastic story to the world with this film. The writing is superb and the cinematography, lighting, framing, are simply outstanding and are definitely of the same caliber of the award winning tv series. This film is truly a worthy successor and conclusion to the “Breaking Bad” story and it’s without a doubt one of the best films made on Netflix.