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April 28, 2012 | 10:46 a.m. CST
Movies about the drug issues that infiltrate areas of Mexico are nothing new to Hollywood, and Miss Bala is just another movie documenting the terror that drug gangs create for Mexican females.
Although the title of the movie creates the idea that the film will focus on the Miss Baja California pageant, the film really focuses very little on the pageant. It tells the story of Laura, played by Stephanie Sigman, who is a young woman trying to enter the Miss Baja pageant with her best friend. After a run-in with the wrong crowd at a nightclub, she finds herself deeply involved in a gang, which she has no way of escaping.
The gang’s leader, Lino, played by Noe Hernandez, establishes an infatuation with Laura. He uses her throughout the movie to benefit the gang and sends her across the border to deliver money and uses her as a ploy in numerous situations throughout the film. He also fixes the Miss Baja California pageant, so that she is able to win.
The only unique part about the film is the idea behind the pageantry that it presents. The aspects of the beauty pageant that are portrayed in the film show the women in the Miss Baja pageant as women that represent all females of Mexico. It creates juxtaposition between the girls who have been training for a pageant and Laura, who has been used and manipulated by a gang and calls into question which type of woman really represents such a dangerous culture.
Although this movie is inspired by a true story and does show the violence and the objectification of females in a drug-ridden culture, it lacks something different from previous films showing the violence and horror created by Mexican drug cartels.