Maria Full of Grace (***)
Starring Catalina Sandino Moreno, Guilied Lopez, Patricia Rae, Orlando Tobon, John Alex Toro, and Yenny Paola Vega. This was one difficult movie to watch. It is even tougher to review it now. I am not even sure where to start. The movie is the story of Maria, a 17-year-old Colombian that is dealing with life as we all do in a every day basis. Her world seems to be coming down on her to the point that she makes the decision to become a mule for a drug trafficking ring.
The movie is very well done, and even though it was produced in the US it was true to Colombia in both the Spanish spoken as well as the human interaction. The story was very well told, but a lot of the empty subplots I could easily fill in by being from that country. That is where my first issue with the movie starts. The way that Maria interacts with her family is not truly explained by the movie. Her struggle to be rebellious about giving money to her family clashes with the real reason she is becoming a mule. Her ultimate goal would be to help her family out. That is just the beginning of my problems with the movie. There are too many to bring up in just one post.
Colombians in movies are portrayed as thugs, mules or drug lords. It saddens me to see my country always portrayed that way. I cannot remember the last movie from Hollywood that I saw where a Colombian was actually in a role that showed a better face of the beautiful land that I am from. It is a reality that Colombia has problem both political and socio economic. I was born there and I never had anything to do with drug trade, my family is not involved in any way. I sometimes feel like the drug traffic is a cross that all Colombians have to bare as unfair as it might seem.
This is a movie review so I will stop my rant, and tell you that I do recommend you see the movie, but please keep in mind that while this is a window onto the life of a drug mule it does not represent all that Colombia is. Also keep in mind that this woman is doing this not because she wants to get rich, but because she believes this is a way to help her family and to help herself. While I do not agree with her Choice in the movie, I know this is the cruel reality that plenty of people have to live, not only that but many of them die as a result of it. Watch it, be open-minded and let me know what you think.