“THE DAY I MET EL CHAPO: THE KATE DEL CASTILLO STORY” is a documentary now streaming on Netflix that recants the events that took place leading up to, during, and after, her infamous secret meeting with Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán and actor Sean Penn. The same meeting that took place not long before ‘El Chapo’s’ capture and extradition to the United States.
There are a few ways to go into this documentary. You can go in like it is a hard-hitting documentary that is fact-focused and set out to inform. Or you can take it with a grain of salt as something that can expand on a recent media topic. With layers of truth, and some layers that could be missing or twisted slightly. I chose somewhere in the middle when watching. Something more for entertainment, hovering closer to the side of reality TV, as opposed to a detailed and hard-hitting exposé.
That is not to say I feel there are untruths in this documentary. But with this being a Netflix Original and Kate Del Castillo also being the headliner for another Netflix Original Series called “Ingobernable.” For me at least this creates a natural conflict of interest specifically when the topic is one with more than a single side.
I went into this three-part series with a lot of curiosity. I remembered when these events took place and the story coverage was fascinating to me. This actress from Mexico tweeting about a drug-lord in reference to a point she was trying to make about her country support of the lower class. The drug-lord then reaches out to her and they build this weird and unexpected connection. Then Sean Penn and a Rolling Stones interview are tossed into the equation, with this secret meeting. So, to say the least the intrigue writes itself.
I thought it was a very well-organized series that was packed with intrigue as it peeled back all the layers to this story. Castillo’s involvement, and the Mexican Governments reaction. Media from around the world covering the topic. A famous king-pin with a child-like crush. Not to forget an opportunistic actor turned self-righteous advocate. All of these parallels were covered with compelling detail and it provided a flow of information that had me moving right on to the next episode to see how all the events would play out. More so, how it would differ in perspective to the media coverage at the time.
There was a great blend of commentary from most sides that gave a unique perspective to the situations. This was clearly a story of Kate Del Castillo, but it wasn’t completely tunnel-minded. It weaves in some insight from various members of the media that were familiar to the events that took place. For the most part these individuals were impartial, with no real motivating side to the situation which for me, made their thoughts on everything the most thought-provoking.
I do recommend checking this series out if you were at all interested in this story while it happened, or find the entire situation odd and fascinating. It was very well-edited and uses the perfect amount of archival footage to paint a very detailed portrait of all the moving parts to this story. It was absolutely captivating to watching the angles of this story unfold and how this remote secret meeting was formed, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes a script in the near future.