Thursday, September 19, 2013

La Madre del Patrón

 Pablo’s mother Doña Enelia de Escobar is a marvelous character in El Patron del Mal. She has a relatively small part however, Enelia not only gives Pablo a mantra from which he bases his mentality on life and success but she also acts as his confidant and mentor. Perhaps Enelia is a key to the telenovela in that she is the writer's way of making the character of Pablo Escobar a likable protagonist, in spite of the criminal background the audience goes into the telenovela already knowing.  
            In the very first episode the audience understands the mindset of the environment in which Pablo grew up. Poor, with a strong willed mother who teaches him many things including “los hombres no lloran”, and, after he gets caught trying to steal a math exam: “The day you decide to do something bad, do it well! Don’t be dumb enough to get caught!..this world is for the clever…for the slick”. From that point the audience begins to understand how Pablo, the boy, could grow up to be Escobar, the infamous drug lord. Rather than promoting a lesson between the difference between right and wrong Enelia explains the stupidity in getting caught. This is revisited when Pablo is named as being a drug trafficker by Rodrigo Lara on the Congress floor. Enelia is not disappointed in her son for being a drug trafficker, rather, she is disappointed he was outed as a trafficker. Enelia also instills in her son “a man without money lives a sad and boring life”. She, rather than his father, defines what masculinity means. From here begins the novela’s continuous theme of the importance of money, so much so that it could be said to be a part of the love triangle with Pablo and his wife Patricia.
          Even with all his power and money Pablo goes to his mother for advice, and thinks of her in higher regard than his 'business' partners. For example when the issue of Irma Motoa’s kidnapping seems unsolvable and when Pablo seeks to pursue a career in politics, he goes to his mother for her advice. Again the theme of money is brought to the foreground in the later goal because, while Pablo already has money, he seeks more, the next step. He sees that next step as political power, claiming he can help the poor and himself by making vices (like cocaine) legal. However, Enelia sees through that goal, she sees politics as a place of ‘wild animals’. Which causes the audience to wonder if she knows of how Pablo gets his money. If she does it is humorous that trafficking is fine while politics is the wrong path. while drug trafficking is fine. 

While acting as a key to making Pablo a likeable character, as her character develops, Enelia represents the greed facet of Pablo’s conscious, which is uncharacteristic of a telenovela mother of the protagonist.  But what is undeniable is her ability to keep everyone around her in check. For example Enelia is helps controlling Patricia for Pablo as he sleeps with other women telling her "the are all unfaithful" while motioning to see, hear and say nothing. And when the police raid the Escobar home looking for Pablo and Enelia asks "should I open all the cupboards so you can check? This is an outrage!". And finally with Pablo himself as demonstrated in the clip below:

Mama Escobar ladies and gentlemen. 

1 comment:

  1. I think this is clear evidence that money is helpful, yes, but it can absolutely be a source for evil. When you say that Pablo's mother instills in him that money will essentially make or break him, that makes it very obvious to me that money was the root of Escobar's horrible deeds (as if it wasn't clear already). The thing that I find most ironic about this is that his mother (in the video clip) is reprimanding him for having mistresses. She speaks of the church, so I get the impression that she has religious convictions and standards. So the strange part is that she condones his extreme actions to make money, but not his adultery. Maybe this goes to show that family is more sacred than anything else in Latin American culture, but I certainly find that very interesting.