Friday, December 12, 2008

"Maria Full of Grace" (Language - Spanish) (2004) - Movie Review

Choosing to live and beginning to appreciate the life ahead with a hope is a wonderful feeling. The moment where you exactly feel why you do what you do and what is that which runs your life and through which runs the others you love is an enlightening thing. It might happen one day and not other but when it happens, you know it. The stroke of that is the same when you watch a film. A film might go uneventful even in its smoothly moving script but that particular stroke makes it ethereal, the frame you craved for. That is the one which makes “Maria Full of Grace” a magical charm in the end.

Joshua Marston directed film follows a young beautiful Maria (Catalina Sandino Moreno), a seventeen year old girl working laboriously in a sweat shop in Columbia making flower bouquets. She has a boy friend Juan (Wilson Guerrero) whom she has lost interest and he has lost in her too. She has a busy house with her sister Diana (Johanna Andrea Mora) a single mother and their dedicated diligent mother. Maria and her mother runs the family. Maria though is frustrated by the life of penniless after sweating so much to give for her unemployed sister. She also learns her pregnancy while feels numb to see Juan asking as something of a said exercise to marry her. Disappointed she breaks up and gets the attention of another young man Franklin (Jhon Alex Toro). Looking for a kick start of her life as I observed, a young girl in a search for excitement signs up stupidly to be a mule for drugs.

The assignment though is not simple but the boss Javier (Jaime Osorio Gomez) makes it sound realistic and as the more marketable. In a tightly packed drugs as a pellet, it needs to be swallowed and then needs to be travelled to New York. She meets an experienced carrier Lucy (Guilied Lopez) who has done it twice and long waits to visit her sister out there but feels ashamed to face her with the job which has brought her to New York. In between there is Maria’s friend Blanca (Yenny Paola Vega) who signs up for it too as she idolizes Maria but with a stern way to express it.

I have to accept that the whole procedure though is stomach churning to do was not something I was able to sympathize. The females every one of them are very clear on the task they are taking and in fact considering every single consequences to be met. Yet there is a drive to do it in the form of money but for Maria it is an aspiration on her way to feel more to life. Moreno as a sparkling teenager acts out Maria with some one so confident about her action in the teenage dumbness and in fact head strong about it. She makes up something and lies right through the teeth when the situation demands it. We do not really like Maria and her choices but come to like the way of her realizing what she wants out of the life.

The other similar effect I had is for Blanca. Blanca has the same attitude as that of Maria which is not surprising as she follows her every where. She does not have the guts to take any decision while blames Maria for her stupidity in her actions. Yenny Paola Vega gets on the nerves of Maria and us. But she understands Maria than any one else in the film. She provides the other half of that rejuvenating energy for Maria’s new born zeal for life in that last scene at the airport. In fact we exactly know what the decision is going to be but the difference is the untold waves of that moment in it. That makes the film worth watching all through the end expecting some sort of miracle is going to jolt this screenplay with a twist.

“Maria Full of Grace” begins as a journey into this character of emptiness and ends with a high note of cinematic beauty and convincing life possibilities. It does not aim in soothing us with the beautiful Maria. It aims in the moment I was talking about. Even after some of the worst days in your regular life, there comes a day, a particular freezing image of your life and a smile spreads across our face. It can be after a long phone talk with a family, a friend or watching something truly transpiring off the screen towards you reminiscing those.

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