The Boy from Medellín (2020) Poster

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10/10
I watched it twice! Phenomenal
readybandz8 May 2021
Wow! I noticed this was on the main page of Amazon fire stick. I watched the trailer and started watching, Jose/J Balvin, I am so proud of you! It was an incredible documentary of your life, thank you for sharing your life with depression and anxiety and also the struggles of being a star and being able to speak for the people as well as the pressure and responsibilities that are attached to being a public figure. You stayed true and humble and to say the least, people all over the world feel your amazing music. It was so good, that when my husband came home, I was so impressed and impacted by it, that I watched it twice! My husband didn't want to watch it, and and the end he also had the same reaction I did! Absolutely phenomenal!
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7/10
Another view
magdalenastampfer8 May 2021
It was very interesting, but also somewhat painful to watch. As a J Balvin fan I would love to see him happy, but you see how many struggles he has (and you ask yourself why he puts himself through them, being very strict to himself). I think it was intentional to show, that being a star is not what many people would think it is. The title is well chosen - J Balvin is still a boy from Medellin, a star on the outside, but still insecure and very vulnerable on the inside.

Being a star helps with your bank account but it can make life´s lessons harder to learn. On the one hand the ego is flattered by all these fans, on the other hand there is this deep longing to be loved - but it can only come from the inside, and you can clearly see how lost J Balvin sometimes is. So very very brave to show this to the world to see.
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10/10
Enjoyed watching the documentary
rigojimenezjr12 May 2021
I enjoyed every minute of this documentary. It makes you realize how J Balvn is just a regular human being like the rest of us. To each their own and to me I give it a 10 out of 10.
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9/10
Wonderful
mbrcf13 September 2020
TIFF 2020 03

The Boy from Medellin

This documentary had a very strong and powerful effect on me. It's about the famous Colombian singer J Balvin and his forthcoming concert in his hometown Medellin in which some of the biggest protests and strikes in the recent history of Colombia are taking place. I dont expect the critics from U.S to fully grasp the essence of this film, but in countries who deal with dictatorship and people rallying against the government, the roll of artists, entertainers and basically celebrities with a sizeable platform is controversional and disputed. I'd like to quote Fereydoun Farrokhzad, a former showman with PhD in political science in my country Iran who once said: "you can't just separate yourself from the politics. even if you try to not mess up with politics, politics will mess up with you. The two nuclear bombs that nuked Hiroshima and Nakazaki, these were potitical events. You must know politics to predict when the bomb is going to get you."

This film started as a typical singer's concert kind of documentary, but the whole protests and what Balvin had to go through with his roll about them gave this a whole new narrative and elevated it by a lot.
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1/10
How can you be so cinic.
People in Colombia have suffered hardships at least ONCE in our lives, poor boy as if there isn't people in La Guajira without anything to eat. How can you sell this to make a point in commercial success.

This man can only be reduced to his music, nothing else.
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1/10
Disappointed
mariocarmonah7 May 2021
So sad to see that he sells himself like a poor boy that suffered so much to reach his success, but people who knows him, knows that is not real.
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1/10
How can you support this guy?
camilamora-7785112 May 2021
This guy is an absolute embarrassment to Colombians. Just like Maluma and Shakira, fame got to him. How can you not be standing up for Colombia during this time? It's so incredibly vexing seeing Colombian celebrities with such a large following and using it for absolutely nothing. It's so galling that not too long ago these Colombian celebrities just started posting and talking about the horrible state Colombia is in right now. Do not support this, he doesn't deserve it. I will not be watching this lol, this guy is a JOKE.
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5/10
Poor boy!
harril-586-2674517 May 2021
Warning: Spoilers
I knew nothing about J Malvin prior to watching this but did fast research on YouTube and found he had billions of views and some great sounding music, so I thought his story would have to be very interesting. Unfortunately this 'doco' showed nothing of his origins or how he actually created the music but instead shows a 5 or 6 day lead up to this big gig in his hometown of Medellín. During the week we are shown insightful conversations between his crew, girlfriend and manager, (with lovely cinematic lighting) revealing his battles with depression and how to address the real-life problems of Columbia without alienating/offending his huge fan base. Overall he looks profoundly sad. The climax is when he delivers a heart-felt speech towards the end of the gig covering this issue. I honestly felt sorry for him in the end because he exists in a business where he is destined to be continually judged even when he tries to be sincere. This documentary is a nicely edited, superficial look at a Reggaeton superstar who obviously has much more depth than revealed here.
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10/10
Haters gonna hare
nmqtzzz8 May 2021
J balvin has changed the perspective of what COLOMBIA is. He's one man, he can't do it all, but he's does what he can. Was worth the watch.
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10/10
Te Amo me encanto
ytobon-237748 May 2021
L loved it bcs it aloud me to see the real Jose and the sensitive man in him. L have a son who suffers from depression and l found hope in the way he shows how this deseace can be overcome and how young men can accomplish everything if is wanted. Thanks JBalvin.
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1/10
Why?
ruizvalee14 May 2021
Not fair! Colombia it's going through a very thoughf time were many young people are dying fighting for their rights and trying to make a change. He just decided to ignore his own people, the people who put you where you are right now! This is not about politics or left and right! This is about Colombia and your people. It's just so upsetting that he is not using his position and plataform to help Colombians and when he decided to speak out it was only because all the pressure that Colombian and media were giving him.
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1/10
It seems like a bad soap
garavata8811 May 2021
This is fake, everything looks staged, acted. I feel sorry for him, a man with such power and so little connection with reality. He doesn't know anything about his country or his surroundings cause he's always feeling sorry for himself. A little guy with poor character, such a waste....
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7/10
Insightful documentary about J Balvin
paul-allaer7 May 2021
"The Boy From Medellin: (2021 release; 96 min.) is a documentary about Colombian reggaeton superstar J Balvin. As the movie opens, we are in Mexico City, as J Balvin is arriving at a massive outdoor show. He takes a moment to impress onto his audience that depression needs attention. After the show, he flies to his hometown of Medellin, Colombia, where in a week's time he will give his biggest show yet at the local soccer stadium. The documentary follows him around for the next 7 days...

Couple of comments: this documentary is directed by Oscar nominated Matthew Heineman ("Cartel Land") whose production team was seemingly given unfettered access to J Balvin those 7 days living up to the home soccer stadium show. There are a number of interesting things about this documentary: it's not just about the music, in fact, there are very few music moments between the opening in Mexico City and the Medellin show 7 days later. Instead, we see J Baldvin, or Jose, go about his ever life in those days. And as it happened, Colombia was going through social unrest, with massive demonstrations in the streets, putting into doubt that the Medellin show could even go on. And whether J Baldvin would even offer any comments about the social unrest taking place. And oh, did I mention that he was suffering from a serious illness (laryngitis)? Very little is shown about how this guy became the superstar that he clearly is. Equally amazing: no footage of preparations or rehearsals for the Medellin show (if they ever happened). Which is all the more amazing when you see the footage in the last 15 min. Or so of the actual Medellin stadium show (spoiler: yes, it did take place). All in all, a very satisfactory documentary. I had heard of this guy, but knew next to nothing of him. This documentary does a great job in providing insights on him.

"The Boy From Medellin" just premiered on Amazon Prime (where I watched it) and is now available on Amazon Instant Video and other streaming services. Even if you have never heard of J Balvin before or at best are vaguely familiar with him (as I was), I'd readily suggest you check this out, and draw your own conclusion.
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9/10
Love just but real disturbing scene
tommyboy-167411 August 2021
I have a lot of appreciation for Jose. Poor man is doing so well for someone who is struggling with mental illness. There is such a disturbing scene though. Jose doesn't want to get involved in politics especially in a country that has the history they have. His manager Scooter with another, literally pull him away from his family to corner him and make a choice, the only option of course being Scooters very progressive side. Does Scooter not know their history or he just doesn't care? Why is he pulling a man struggling with mental illness aside to force him to do something? To take advantage of a man in a weak state. It was truly disturbing to watch how these people work to get their way.
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6/10
J Belvin delivers a perspective behind his concert.
cruise0123 May 2021
3 out of 5 stars.

Fair documentary about J Belvin. Behind all the concerts and fame. His struggle with depression. Visiting his home town of Medellin. Which he is about to perform. While there is a political struggle and protests towards the government.

I love J Belvins music. And it was a nice insight to his the other perspectives that he deals with. While trying to be there for his fans.
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3/10
Looks fake
Faiqgul200010 May 2021
He comes off as very fake person, looks like he did all the drama any anxiety for this show.

Didn't expect such a shallow depiction.
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6/10
Beautiful City, Stunning Women !!
msoprivate8 May 2021
If you're looking for an entertaining video tour around Medellin and snapshots of its world-class women.....from the perspectives of the luxury SUV of a jet-set celeb, and the terraces of splendid villas in surrounding hills....then this is the show for you!!

The main downside is that J Balvin comes across as a male Reggaeton Judy Garland.......inexplicably.needing constant emotional and medical propping up from a sizeable crew of therapists, spiritualists, physicians, and general minders. Boring after the first 10 minutes......except for his constant wardrobe changes to a new 500 dollar hoodie-tee shirt combo, in each new scene!

The footage of the much-awaited concert suffers from choppy editing and a muddy sound mix, leaving you wondering what all the fuss was about. Basically, as artistically impressive as a Super Bowl Half-Time Show in an "off year".

As for Balvin's "political awakening" in reaction to a barrage of Instagram posts by protestors in Colombia's streets, coinciding with his return to his home town....you feel that his new-found "consciousness" will wear off as soon as he returns to his mansion in South Florida.

Despite my complaints, however, it was a fun couple of hours in front of the tube. Viva Las Chicas de Medellin !!!
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10/10
Such a humble man. Great movie.
margaretkreps12 May 2021
My Spanish vocabulary consists of 5 words, but I love his music. This was a great movie. I looked at it with my 14 year old daughter. The movie was very real and inspirational.
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10/10
Amazingly Portrayed
codet-0318816 May 2021
Very RAW and REAL, which made it that much entertaining..great directing cause it captured Jose's essence.... keep your head up baby boy, you doing the damn thang...!
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10/10
One of a kind
chindajagadish15 May 2021
This documentary has everything we don't usually get to know J balvin than ever before.
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7/10
So, what do YOU think the role of an artist is?
trinaboice9 May 2021
IN A NUTSHELL: First of all, thanks to Amazon Studios for inviting me to their virtual press screening so I could watch this movie before it goes live. This is the film's description Amazon gave me: An astonishingly intimate portrait of one of the biggest international music superstars of our time. THE BOY FROM MEDELLÍN follows J Balvin as he prepares for the most important concert of his career-a sold-out stadium show in his hometown of Medellín, Colombia.

But as the performance draws ever closer, the streets explode with growing political unrest, forcing the Latin Grammy-winning musician to wrestle with his responsibility as an artist to his country and his legions of fans around the globe. As the public pressure of the approaching concert heightens, Balvin also continues to deal with the anxiety and depression that has plagued him for years. Shot entirely in the dramatic week leading up to the concert, THE BOY FROM MEDELLÍN gives us unprecedented access to "Reggaeton's Global Ambassador," and provides an immersive look into one of the most pivotal and emotionally charged moments of his life.

THINGS I LIKED: I had never even heard of J Balvin, so I really wanted to watch this film and learn more about him. I know. Where have I been? He won more Latin Grammy's than anyone in 2018. He was the most streamed performer on YouTube. If you haven't heard of him either, you'll get to hear him sing and watch him perform quite a bit in the documentary.

He is very honest and open with his audiences about his struggle with depression and anxiety and panic attacks. In clips from previous concerts, he assures his fans that they are not alone if they have struggled with those things too.

Most Americans only know Medellin from Pablo Escobar and drugs. While I haven't been to Medellin, I have traveled to other cities in Colombia and can tell you it's an incredibly beautiful country! My twin sister lived there for a year and a half and loved it. She and I were able to travel there together a few years ago and it was so much fun having her introduce me to so many of the things she loves about Colombia. She always says, "The most dangerous thing about going to Colombia is never wanting to leave." In the film, you get a taste of the passion and rhythm of the people there.

J Balvin was truly put in a difficult decision when he returned to his country to give a concert in the middle of one of the largest mass protests in the history of Colombia. Several people even died. One of his friends said it correctly that he couldn't win no matter what he did; if he spoke up against the government, it would be bad, but if he didn't say anything at all, that would be bad too. He didn't know what to do because he didn't want to make a mistake. He admitted he was afraid to speak out against things he didn't fully understand politically. The big question of the movie is "What is the role of artists?" Should they speak out politically or simply perform? Another person told him, "You can expect everyone to love you." It was interesting to learn that he had a spiritual advisor who talked to him on the phone and in-person to help him with his mindset. J Balvin's real name is Jose. He spends much of the movie talking about how he lost himself and his identity.

The movie is advertised as representing the 7 days before J Balvin's big concert in Colombia, but you actually get to see clips from many years prior too.

It was sweet that a bunch of American celebrities called him the day of his big concert to show support.

For the 4-hour concert, he had the words "Amor" and "Paz" painted on his head. They mean "Love" and "Peace." After watching J Balvin be surrounded by so many personal assistants and support staff, I was surprised to watch him drive off in his own car at the end of a concert.

THINGS I DIDN'T LIKE: Sometimes it's annoying to watch a rich guy fly around on a private jet, but I am genuinely happy for his incredible success.

We see a lot of people on cell phones during the entire movie because they're trying to figure out what's going on with the national strike.

In documentaries like these, you often wonder what is real and what has been carefully designed for the camera, you know?

If you're not into his kind of music, you probably won't be interested in this film.

What's sad is that Colombia is STILL experiencing deadly protests. As of today, May 4, 2021, 17 people have died and 800 were injured in several days of protests against a proposed government tax reform.

TIPS FOR PARENTS: Almost all of the movie in Spanish with English subtitles on the bottom of the screen.

Profanity in Spanish and written on the screen in English. F-bombs in both languages.

You see clips of some inappropriate gestures during his performance. I thought it was telling that the camera showed his embarrassed father looking away.

You can see the rest of my review on my Movie Review Mom YouTube channel!
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8/10
J The Man
idrincon25 May 2021
This is a great documentary showing the real life of a world class star. Being from Colombia I understand some if the nuances missed in the real life footage. For example, you must have been in Medellín and in the comunas to understand why that portion of the documentary is so relevant. I also liked the fact that José's struggles with mental health.

As he says in the documentary: J. Balvin the artist and José are two different people. Highly recommended.
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10/10
El Niño de Medellin, Paisa verraco y echado pa delante!!!
lluiam20 May 2021
This documentary focusses on the life of Jose, and like any documentary you do get to see a little of the human side of the artist. They did a kind of ok job summarizing the 1 week, but they did a good job showing the human. I do sympathize with him on his mental health and I am glad he was brave enough to show it on a documentary at the international level. When you watch this do it with an open main and please understand that even for those that suffer from depression, it is very hard to feel weak and show it to the world to judge.

Like always Medellin looks beautiful, people are beautiful, and it is true that we have a horrible history of political issues, and as an artist he has our voice and he should talk about what is going on. But wow the irony, they used to say people that liked reggaetón and dance in the farras were gamines que yo no se que, and now people ask for him to talk! Interesting. I like his point of view on that, and the fact that he speaks out for the inhuman treatment that the government is giving to us.

If you think this documentary is too precautious or too scripted, you maybe should check the history of Colombia, and papi lets be real you would also have some precaution.
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7/10
I like it.
erhanipekciler18 May 2021
During watching the documentary, I felt 'this is so fake' but when he came to stage at the end, finally I felt the reality. Actually j Balvin is not my favorite singer, I know only tranquila song and I really appreciated him after this documentary. Being a star is so difficult.
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7/10
Sound and rhythm
kosmasp17 May 2021
Now every country has their issues ... and while the music is on the forefront here, we get to dive into some of the trouble here too. Funnily enough I knew some of the songs but had no idea of who sang them. There was a time where I was up to date on those kind of things, but not anymore.

You have to like the music at least a little to be able to enjoy the documentary. Yes it looks on other things too and how our entertainer here struggles with them too ... but it mostly is about how he expresses himself through music. While his family is there too, he does not hold back on the "flirting" ... there is a sexual desire and drive behind a lot of the music and the rhythm you see? That's why it is necessary for you to able to listen to them ... maybe even let them make you dance? That's up to you, I know I felt that way for sure.
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