DVD Review: Miss Bala (2011)

miss bala DVD Review:  Miss Bala (2011)

Miss Bala (pronounced ba-ha) is a film out of Mexico directed by Gerardo Naranjo starring Stephanie Sigman in the title role. It follows a young woman named Laura Guerrero who auditions to compete in a beauty pageant. Later that night, she and her friend go to a club and find themselves caught in the crossfire between the DEA and the drug cartel. From that moment on, every way she turns, Laura can’t seem to escape the violence.

This gives off an impression as though that’s the way of life there. Laura can’t go to the cops because they’re crooked. There is an utter disregard for women as Laura is pawed at and dragged around at will. She can’t go home because they know where she lives. Nowhere is safe. Laura’s survival instinct is to play along and try to escape whenever she sees an opportunity. Of course, she is never able to by her own means because she has no power. The police and the gangs have all the power and this is made very clear throughout the film.

Miss Bala is an exploration of the nightmare of living in a drug warzone. In just about every scene the viewer is met with one incredible circumstance after another that Laura Guerrero must confront, suffer through, recover and then move on from. Where does it end? Will it ever end?

One can’t help but think about the thousands of illegal immigrants who risk their lives to come to the US every year and how, quite possibly, it is not only a lack of financial opportunities that drives them away from their own country but perhaps this all-consuming drug war that they are fleeing from.

If you’re looking for a Cinderella story where the young woman with stars in her eyes becomes a beauty queen and all her dreams come true, you won’t find it here. Naranjo doesn’t sugarcoat the situation in Mexico, nor does he glamorize the drug cartel. But it is a fascinating look at an ugly truth that exists only a few hours but worlds away from many of us living here in the US. Rating: A

Miss Bala 2012 Official Trailer [HD]

0 DVD Review:  Miss Bala (2011)
pixel DVD Review:  Miss Bala (2011)

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