Gerardo Naranjo delivers a narcotics thriller with Hollywood pretensions. Entertaining, exciting, rapid, dark, and filled with action and violence.
Like Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic, Miss Bala is situated around the drug wars on the Mexican-American border. Stephanie Sigman plays Laura Guerrero, a young, attractive but also poor woman who would like to be Miss Universe. When she decides to take part in a local beauty contest, she is blackmailed by the drug baron Lino: he promises her she will win, and in exchange she does a few jobs for him. The dream comes true, but the price is high, as Laura becomes increasingly entangled in the criminal circuit.
Inspired by a true story, Naranjo stays close to reality. Just like the modern classic Gomorrah, he provides a raw glimpse of the drug world and packages it as a bloodcurdling, sensational thriller. Making his debut, Sigman presents Laura more as a fearful animal in distress than a thoughtless girl. And as a result, she sinks even deeper into the quagmire.

Filmmaker
Country
Mexico
Year
2011
Medium
35mm
Length
113’
Language
Spanish, English
Producer
Pablo Cruz
Production Company
Canana Films
Sales
Fox Searchlight Europe
Writer
Mauricio Katz, Gerardo Naranjo
Cinematography
Mátyás Erdély
Editor
Gerardo Naranjo
Production Design
Ivonne Fuentes
Sound Design
Salvador Félix, Pablo Lach
Music
Emilio Kauderer
Cast
Stephanie Sigman, Noé Hernández