Sports history is full of controversial characters who had everything to achieve glory but ended up burying their legacy, destroying everything they had fought for in a matter of seconds, condemning themselves to one of the few things in this life that It is eternal, oblivion…
Edwin Valero was one of those cases, from humble origins on the streets of Venezuela to becoming a two-time world boxing champion. Valero was a formidable boxer with a perfect record of 27 wins, all by KO and 0 losses, achieving a world record guiness of winning his first 18 professional bouts by KO in the first Round.
A beast in the Ring who was destined to become a legend of the sport, who in that era was seen as a serious threat to the great Manny Pacquiao, whom he was about to face just before committing a crime that I’d rather not mention,(specially to not spoil the film to those who don´t know about the story and wants to approach the film) but that it was so terrible and heinous that ended his career with a stroke of the pen.
Valero was a winner in the Ring, but a loser in life, and that madness that characterized him in the ring also defined him outside of it. His inner demons were so powerful that turned a promising talent into a wasted one. making him lose his only fight in life with fatal consequences.
This humble Venezuelan production, portrays the life and career of Edwin into the screen, starting off with his origins as a thug on the streets to Venezuela, to become a promising amateur boxing prospect to achieve boxing stardom, but emphasising on the tumultuous relationship with his wife, Joselin.
The film has no contemplations in showing Edwin’s darker face, portraying him as the monster that he was inside and outside the ring, giving a really interesting insight look of how he battled against those inner demons that his powerful punches coudn´t defeat.
At first sight it may seems that “El Inca” is just a boxing movie, but actually is not, is rather a tragic love story in which the plot makes more emphasis on the human (or inhuman) side of the character than on the sports side.
Despite the obvious budget limitations, the fight sequences are very faithfully recreated, being filmed in a very commendable way, however, they lack of the epic and spectacularity that you may expect in this kind of productions, but they worked perfectly to progress in the story…
But if there is something that really deserves a big praising , it´s the excellent performances of its leading duo, Alexander Leterni and Scarlett jaimes. they are the soul of the film, offering a spectacular job, bringing their characters back to life into the screen.
One of the biggest issues with kind of biopics, is that 2 hours don´t seem enough to be able to tell all the facts. There are moments in the story that are hastily narrated and some abrupt jumps in time may be difficult to follow or understand for those who are not familiar with the story beforehand. For that reason, I consider that the perfect format to tell the story of Valero would be a television series, but that does not detract from the merits of the excellent job of Venezuelan filmmaker Ignacio Castillo Cottin, who showed his good manners and promising talent in a film that really exceeded expectations.