Stephanie Sigman’s beauty queen gets involved in the drug wars in the powerful Miss Bala.
MISS BALA directed by Gerardo Naranjo, written by Naranjo and Mauricio Katz, with Stephanie Sigman and Noe Hernandez. A Mongrel Media release. 113 minutes. Subtitled. Opens Friday (February 3). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NNNN
Miss Bala, which translates as Miss Bullet, hits the mark. It's a fast-paced, surrealistic take on the drug wars in Mexico, shot from the perspective of the unlikeliest abetter.
Stephanie Sigman plays Laura, a teenage Mexican beauty pageant contestant who witnesses a nightclub massacre and ends up under the thumb of a vicious cartel. Soon, she's helplessly thrust into a world where the gangsters are running politics, the police and even beauty pageants - a nice jab at that particular industry.
The film was inspired by a real-life event, but director Gerardo Naranjo forgoes docudrama for a critical mood piece that's both nightmarish and darkly comical, where the wide frames and long takes teem with seemingly infinite sleaze and violence.