Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Review: Maria Full of Grace

Starring: Catalina Sandino Moreno, Guilied Lopez, Orlando Tobón
Directed by: Joshua Marston
Language: Spanish
Rating: R
Running Time: 101 minutes

I had to watch this for my Spanish class and the story sounded interesting. It seemed like there would be a lot of drama and conflict to keep me alert for the project.

Seventeen year old Maria works at a flower warehouse, dethorning stems under sweat shop conditions, and supports her mother, sister, and nephew with her paycheck. She takes a break from her stressful life of taking orders from her inconsiderate boss and fighting with her sister by being with her friend Blanca and boyfriend. Soon she learns that she's pregnant with her boyfriend's baby and he wants to marry her for the baby instead of love. They break up and she quits her job.

Before Maria's break up with her boyfriend, she becomes close to one of her boyfriend's friends Franklin and he offers her a job later on as a drug mule. Once her new boss approves of her, she meets Lucy who also works as a mule. She trains Maria how to swallow fruit the same size as the cocaine pellets she would have to smuggle into New York and they become close friends. Shortly before flying overseas, Maria learns that Blanca has picked up a position as a drug mule to New York as well. From there, everything changes upon their arrival.

Before watching this, I knew to expect some drama, but I didn't expect what was happening in this movie which is a very good thing. Predicting a whole movie destroys any intention of watching it at all and this movie was not very predictable. It started off with some negative factors played against Maria and then you just hope that things will turn around for her in the end.

The acting was pretty believable and my attention stayed with the movie, even if this wasn't required for a class. Sometimes foreign films can make viewers' experience waning attention spans, but if the story is interesting and filled with drama then you can get through this movie with ease. I did get a little frustrated with her family and her boyfriend is a complete douche. Biggest character complain was Blanca. She's a good actor and her personality made you feel how Maria feels toward her during certain situations.

I can't delve into it any further than that as I watched this on YouTube once and it would give away some dramatic spoilers, but I remember I was a little disappointed with the ending. Nonetheless, this is a very good movie to watch and I recommend watching it if you like drama, drugs, and some messed up situations.

Rating: 3.5/5

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