El Camino is a perfectly fine film with a perfectly fine message.
I grew up on Breaking Bad like many people did. I came into the iconic show about a middle-aged suburban dad deciding to burn down the established order of his life during its sophomore season in 2009. I watched from there until the end in 2013 and soaked up all the highs of being a part of something so resonant in popular culture. Were it not for the show, it would perhaps not be as socially acceptable to be bald like it is right now.
Thanks again for that one, Vince.
So when El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie was announced to the public in 2018, I was shocked. I thought the story had reached its natural end and was unsure as to whether the further journeys of Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman had anything to say. I was curious though and ultimately opted to boot up the piece on Netflix when it debuted last week.
We begin exactly where things left off upon Walter White’s endgame so many years ago. Jesse is driving down a dark and deserted desert road, has to reconnect with old friends and, along the way, come to some realizations about how he has lived life to this point.
Much of the movie is essentially another episode of the series, but, in the subtext, a voice is found. It calls out to viewers wherever they may be and prompts them to look inward.
In life, you cannot always set things right. Sometimes you alienate people. Sometimes strangers, friends and family drift away like sand on the wind and there is no hope of getting them back. Mistakes are not easy to undo and they will haunt you if you let them.
But, you can always reboot.
A little agency over decisions can go a long way, and, through Jesse’s actions, this is what the movie is urging fans to do with their own troubles. Confront the bad guy, do not be afraid to uproot from your surroundings. Sometimes, it is all it takes to find your peace.
I am still working on that for myself. But, after watching the movie, it feels like a less abstract goal. Thanks again Gilligan, somehow, you always find a way to reach me.
But, for blowing up my Better Call Saul theory? F*c$! you.