Review: La Civil
Digital: La Civil (2021)
Cielo’s (Arcelia Ramírez) teenage daughter is kidnapped in Northern Mexico, and despite paying multiple ransoms the kidnappers refuse to let her go.
With no help from the local authorities to find her missing daughter, Cielo takes it upon herself to try and track down where she is being kept, all despite being put into the crosshairs of violent cartel members.
La Civil doesn’t play out like a Hollywood action/revenge movie with Cielo strapping a pistol to her thigh and kicking Mexican cartel ass with martial arts moves. This is more grounded in reality…it is after all based on real life events, which makes proceedings all the more shocking.
Cielo begs and pleads with the authorities for help, before finally succumbing to putting her own life at risk as she painstakingly pieces bits of information together from following peoples actions and then getting the opportunity to question them…often leading to painful results for all involved.
Director and co-writer Teodora Mihai does a great job of incrementally notching up the tension, all while immersing the viewer into the seedier side of Mexican life that so many people have little choice but to endure for fear of reprisal on themselves and their families.
Arcelia Ramírez is superb as a mother pushed to the very edge and willing to do anything to save her daughter. Never going over the top with her emotions, but keeping everything bubbling just under the surface as you watch her lose her grip on her old self with each passing minute.
The violence is more implied than shown in any gratuitous scenes, though when it does happen it is fast and brutal.
Will she find her daughter or won’t she? You’ll have to watch and find out.
A movie that lives long with you after the end credits have rolled.
Signature Entertainment present La Civil on Digital Platforms 14th March.
Review by Dave from a streaming link kindly supplied by Signature Entertainment.