MISS BALA (Mongrel, 2011) D: Gerardo Naranjo, w/ Stephanie Sigman, Noe Hernandez. Rating: NNNN; DVD package: none Rating: NNNN
Everything we see and hear in Miss Bala comes to us strictly from the perspective of a young woman caught in the Mexican drug wars. This makes it a far cry from the usual gangster flick.
Pretty village girl Laura (Stephanie Sigman) goes into town to enter a beauty contest. That evening, gunmen shoot up the disco she's in. She flees, but loses her friend. The traffic cop she asks for help delivers her to the drug gang responsible for the shooting, and from then on she's dragged ever deeper into their all-out war with the federal drug squad.
Gang leader Lino (Noe Hernandez) terrorizes Laura, gives her money for her services and ensures she gets into the beauty contest, all with the workaday indifference of a cop writing a parking ticket. From the start, she's too traumatized to do anything but comply.
Things get worse. And the performances, locations and shooting style make the drama and violence all horribly real.
EXTRAS Spanish audio. English subtitles.