When a corrupt regime takes hold, no one is safe. This is the story of how you are guilty until proved dead in Mexico during the clean up after a botched political assassination.

The complexity of the storyline makes it difficult to follow the machinations of the wicked, or understand where Chubby Corona (Carlos Cobos), the fat man, fits in and why he has to be silenced – permanently – and what the deputy attorney general Ramirez (Jesus Ochoa) wants with a young married couple, Antonio (Bruno Bichir) and Julie (Lorraine Pilkington).

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It becomes clear that the concept of justice and fair play is of no consequence. People are pawns in a murky power game. What matters is being on the right side and staying there until the right side becomes the wrong side, at which point you switch allegiances and shoot a friend to prove it.

Antonio, a graphic designer, and his English wife Julie become involved with Chubby over the possible purchase of land in Mexico City. What they don’t know is that Chubby has been responsible for providing a government minister with a hitman to dispose of a rival. When the shooter turns out to be an idiot, with mental problems, and is caught at the scene of the crime, it becomes imperative to erase all links to the minister, because, under interrogation, a rat like Chubby would squeal his guts out. And what about his associates? They fabricate evidence to prove suspicion of involvement in the murder and arrest them. With the help of a friend, Antonio escapes to England, while Julie and their baby are locked up at the mercy of the sadistic pervert Ramirez.

In England, the plot thickens, involving a MI5 operative (Adam Kotz), one of Julie’s ex-boyfriends, whose cynicism matches his indifference towards Antonio. The pace of the film is reminiscent of Traffic, although on a smaller, more domestic scale. The unrelenting brutality, both mental and physical, denies hope and leaves the audience stunned.

Bichir’s emotional performance captures Antonio’s despair perfectly and Pilkington is consistently courageous in a role that leaves a chink of light in Julie’s darkness.

Reviewed on: 12 Feb 2007
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Framed for murder by Mexico's corrupt law enforcement agents.
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Director: Jorge Ramírez Suárez

Writer: Jorge Ramírez Suárez

Starring: Bruno Bichir, Lorraine Pilkington, Jesús Ochoa, Adam Kotz, Álvaro Guerrero, Rodrigo Murray, Emma Cunniffe, Reece Dinsdale, Carlos Cobos, Ricardo Blume, Adalberto Parra

Year: 2004

Runtime: 112 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: Mexico/UK


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