Starring: Catalina Sandino Moreno, Guilied Lopez, Orlando Tobón
Director: Joshua Marston
Running Time: 101 mins
Maria Full Of Grace (María eres llena de gracias) is a Colombian film about a pregnant teenage girl who becomes a drug mule between Colombia and New York in order to earn money for her impoverished family.
This film was very interesting. Detailing what is quite a horrific phenomenon, it is definitely quite hard-hitting to watch at times, as well as being fascinating to watch how vulnerable people are forced into this business, however the film wasn’t really emotional enough to be anything spectacular to watch.
To start with, this is a hugely fascinating demonstration of the terribly forceful nature of the drug mule program. Although the use of drug mules is now a well-known phenomenon, this film really digs deep into the whole scheme and explains it methodically and clearly so that you learn a great deal that you would never had known about the innards of the program.
This film is so informative, it might as well be a documentary about drug mules, but one of the saving factors of this being a drama is the constant battling that you get between the main character, Maria, and all those who she is involved with because of the scheme.
It’s fascinating, as well as quite depressing, to watch a pregnant teenager be forced into something as horrible as becoming a drug mule, but that is one aspect of the story that really does bring you in close with the character, making the remainder somewhat more hard-hitting.
However, there was one big problem with this film that stopped it from being a truly brilliant and harrowing story. I felt that the character development of Maria was hugely rushed at the beginning of the film, which had major consequences towards the climax.
The problem with this was that you didn’t have time initially to develop any real emotional connection or deep sympathy for Maria in her impoverished background, and by the end of the film, where the story begins to rely heavily on emotional strain for the characters, you don’t get as much of an impact, which means it’s nowhere near as impressive at the end as you would think.
Overall, though, I’ll give this a 7.3, because it was a hugely interesting, informative, occasionally exciting and horrifying film to watch, despite not being as emotionally impacting as it could have been.