Under the code of the "brutalist" wave that has devasted Cannes bit by bit, Heli at least has the redeeming facet of being uncompromisingly ridiculous. The violence is so implausible, the level of cruelty is so demented, that the whole formulates a parody on itself and on its borrowed aesthetics. It doesn't get farther than that, though - it's an attitude, not a construction or deconstruction.
The film has a wonderful chiastic structure culminating in a moment where a woman walks into a blood-soaked room, then slowly walks back out. But of course you can never truly walk away from the violence, Escalante says. Even the fact that Heli and Co. are able to pick up the pieces and return to some semblance of normalcy suggests that these sorts of incidents are systemic problems in Mexican society.
A brutal violence next to an everyone's everyday, which is broken completely when two collide with each other? Compared with "Los Bastardos," this is more plot-constructed, ferocious & sublimely picturesque film which depicts young generations convoluted by a corruption & assault in Mexican drug war. The-boy-playing-PSP-beside-the-man-whose-penis-is-burning torture sequence is unforgettable, peradventure
Its raw, heart-wrenching I'm not a big fan of it, I thought it was a bit slow paced and the characters at first didn't catch me at all, but once Heli found the drug kilos, I started putting more attention to the trama. I wanted to cry and punch a wall, not just because it was an unfair thing in the movie, but because it's such a real thing, it's something we mexicans live everyday, but we dont usually see this side.
I've learnt a lot as a MUBI subscriber, but being introduced to Mexican Cinema is probably the most important. Good god is this cinema stripped bare, harsh, raw and poignantl. This is what real art should do - wake us all up to what the worlds really like - fuck entertainment. Horrific, powerful, essential film.
A bare, harsh and sometimes rather uncomfortable narcotics thriller. The film gives a pessimistic but vivid picture of the social, political and economic realities in Mexico. The emphasis is on the cruelty and especially on the indifference with which many young people commit their crimes. Another factor is the completely obscure role of the army and the police in this national drama. Anyway… it’s impressive.
Restraint and impeccable craft are at the fore here in this frankly told story of drugs, gangs and the cyclic nature of violence that wrecks havoc on the innocent. The story at it's base is paper thin and one we've seen many times before, but the characters are unique, rich and layered with fine detail. Superb opening shot! and great scene with the female detective 3 stars
A movie about the very particular and personal collateral damage to one family the Mexican drug wars brush against. The characters sometimes seem to react rather dispassionately to the horrors inflicted on them, but this is more likely numbness and resignation combined with the belief that being placid and unresponsive is safer and will more likely lead to survival than any other response would...http://bit.ly/NXHarU