Maria Full of Grace - A Review and Thoughts

Last night Lindsay and I watched Maria Full of Grace. After watching Million Dollar Baby (possilbe review coming) on Sunday night with Lindsay's parents, we weren't ready yet for another depressing movie. But at least Maria Full of Grace left us with hope.

I'm not good at telling these things without spoilers. I highly recommend this Spanish language movie with English subtitles. It is a great, albeit depressing, and thought-provoking piece. Be warned - SPOILER ALERT!

The story centers around a seventeen-year-old girl from Colombia who gets pregnant with a boyfriend she doesn't love (although that isn't completely clear - it might just be that he doesn't love her). The girl makes one mistake (usually a result of her being deceptive) after another until she finds herself pregnant, unemployed (apparently she was out of school - I don't know what the school structure is like in Colombia), and desperate.

How desperate would you need to be in order to swallow 62 large grape-sized capsules of cocaine and use your body as a mule to haul them from Colombia to America? Apparently, Maria was that desperate. The story transitions from her struggle as an unemployed, pregnant Colombian girl to her stressful tale as a drug mule. It's a real tense situation (and the main storyline of the movie) that I will leave for your viewing pleasure.

The question I was left with after watching is what does the title - "Maria Full of Grace" - mean. How is she full of grace? What is the graceful act she received? Did she show grace to people? Maybe a little but not enough to say she is full of grace. Then it all came together in my head. At the end, Maria walked in front of a giant Intel advertisement that declared "It's what's inside that counts." All of her mistakes, lies, and deceptions helped bring about a better life for her and her child despite that those actions would normally result in destruction. **SUPER SPOILER ALERT** To her baby, they are what will allow him to become American, which in the movie was portrayed as a great thing that would result in a better life. This horrible and tragic story is filled with grace because in the end it brought about a better life for Maria and, especially, for her baby.

Watch out for the potholes.