7.0/10 Another FearNet onDemand selection. If you like Hostel, you'll like this. The story is entertaining, even if the 'twists' are a bit foreseeable. Another visually well done movie. The political aspect at the beginning is interesting, but has relatively nothing to do with the rest of the film unfortunately. Worth the watch if you're a horror fan with extra time on your hands.
One of my favorite films. Nice review!
Maria Full of Grace
A Columbian movie that I recently watched. As the tagline claims, the movie certainly is based on a '1000 true stories'.
Maria is a poor columbian girl who has to work hard in order to support a large family. One day, she quits her job at a flower shop after a fight with her boss. In addition, she discovers that she is pregnant, which complicates things further.
Somehow, she meets a guy involved in a drug racket, who promises her oodles of money if she could be a mule and smuggle drugs into New York. Its basically the standard procedure of the drug mule swallowing Kgs of Cocaine pellets and holding them in the stomach until the designated location of delivery is reached. Anyways, she agrees to the job as she has no other source of income.
Since she has to swallow 62 pellets, a girl named Lucy (another mule, more experienced one) helps her to practice using grapes and we also hear a backstory at this point. Turns out, Lucy's sister is settled in NY with her husband and Lucy is too ashamed to visit her sister and tell her the nature of her work. In any case, Lucy and Maria bond, and Maria feels she is ready to do the job.
At this point, Maria's best (and rather annoying) friend Blanca also wants in on the act, and she also volunteers to be a mule. So the story now focuses on Lucy, Maria and Blanca who board a flight to NY with Coke in their stomachs.
Obviously, things don't go well. Maria poops during the flight and has to clean the shit from the pellets and reswallow them (the druglord warned her that failure will result in retribution - her family will be killed by the gang). Blanca has periods and struggles holding the drugs in. Lucy is in the worst condition - her pellets have burst inside, and she doesn't feel well - fatal amount of drugs messing with her system.
Somehow the girls evade NY customs, who suspect Maria, but lets her off when they find out that she's pregnant (they can't do scans on pregnant women) and reach the drug dealers in NY. They find out that these guys are ruthless, and the breaking point occurs when Lucy is dying due to the pellets leaking in her system. These drug dealers slit open Lucy's stomach (movie hints that this is done while she is alive) and take out the drugs, killing her as well.
Maria and Blanca, horrified at this, run away with the pellets they have. They seek asylum with Lucy's sister (having obtained the address before from Lucy). However, poverty forces Maria and Blanca to come back and return the pellets to the gang, who forgive her for running away and give her the promised money.
Rest of the movie is about how Maria and Blanca get used to a beggar's life in NY, how they interact with Lucy's sister, how they break the news of Lucy's death to her sister and the final choice they make - whether to stay permanently in NY, or go back to Columbia.
Verdict- 7.5/10. This is by no means a unique story, or even a thrilling one. But it is never boring and you will find yourself drawn into the perspective of Maria. The movie primarily focuses on the innocence of two poor girls, their struggles in an unknown land and the gruesome nature of the drug racket. The ordeal that the three girls (Maria, Blanca and Lucy) undergo during the flight with the pellets in their stomach is the highlight. Overall, its a touching film, with a story that could and is still happening in many parts of the world. Worth a watch.