Battle In Heaven


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.

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