Because she is poor and pregnant and refuses to marry her irresponsible boyfriend, Maria Alvarez (Catalina Sandino Moreno, in a so-so performance)—the protag of Maria Full of Grace (2004)—agrees to become a criminally active “mule” who smuggles drugs from Colombia to exotic New York. She swallows the pellets whole and carries them in her gut before excreting them in the NYC apartment of drug-dealing thugs. The plot advances with the death of Maria’s fellow mule, Lucy, who gets fatally sick and is horribly manhandled by the thugs. The conclusion of this film by Joshua Marston accepts what is indisputably the politically liberal view on illegal immigration (economically Colombia bad, America good, you see) and I have a problem with that.
Doesn’t mean it’s a bad picture, though. Maria is absorbing, non-melodramatic and almost always convincing. I do wonder, however, why Maria fails to perceive the moral seriousness of what she’s doing. Oh well.
(In Spanish with English subtitles.)