Mar'ía is a young Colombian girl, pregnant and poor, and at a dead end in life. She quitted a job she didn't like, but couldn`t find another one in her little town. As her family depended heavily on the money she earned, she has to go to Bogot'á "the big city", to find employment. But on the way to Bogot'á person she met in a party offers her what at first sight seems an easy solution: to transport drugs to the United States in her body.
Easy?. Well, other adjectives come to mind when you think about that idea: desperate, foolish, ill-advised, irresponsible, rash and senseless, but never easy. That is something that Mar'ía will learn as she discovers that being a "mule" isn't simple. First she needs to learn how to swallow the pellets with cocaine, and is informed of the fact that she will die immediately if one of the pellets explodes in her stomach. Then, Mar'ía has to survive to the fear of being caught by the police, and to the death of another "mule" that became her friend at the hands of the men who were supposed to receive the cocaine.
Will Mar'ía die too?. What will happen to her?. You will learn that when you watch "Mar'ía full of grace". Strangely enough, you will care for what happens with the impetuous María, because this movie will allow you to understand what kind of situation can convince someone to become a drug smuggler. Despite that, understanding the reasons for a decision doesn't mean justifying it, and I don't.
All the same, I think writer/director Joshua Marston should be congratulated on a movie well done, that gives a human face to the "mules" that help drug lords to smuggle drugs. We come to realize that sometimes the mules are the victims of extraordinarily bad decisions that they cannot correct in time due to threats to their families, and fear. Catalina Sandino Moreno as Mar'ía conveys very believable what a person is likely to feel, in such a difficult situation.
On the whole, I really liked this movie, even though at times it was difficult to watch due to the emotional agony some of the characters transmited. "Mar'ía full of grace" won't make you smile, but it will make you think. That is sometimes enough, isn't it ?.