Kidnap. Murder. Sex. Carlos Reygadas' sophomore effort may sound like the new Tony Scott movie, but anyone familiar with his measured, mesmerising debut Japón will know to expect otherwise.
Slowly unfurling in a succession of exacting, engrossing images, a Bach soundtrack adding to its heft, Battle In Heaven follows chauffeur Marcos (Marcos Hernández) as he undergoes a near-catatonic quest for redemption. Guilt-ridden after orchestrating a fatally botched kidnapping, Marcos shuffles through Mexico City, pausing to make dead-eyed love to his wife (Bertha Ruiz) and accept mercy blowjobs from a prostitute (Anapola Mushkadiz).
Courting controversy with its graphic sex scenes and squalid violence, Reygadas' slow-burn shocker is actually more concerned with soul than body, more attuned to the cinema of Tarkovsky and Bresson than Meirelles and Cuarón - influences the director talks about in a halting interview.