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THE MULE: A MOVIE REVIEW

A Project
presented to Mrs. Herminia O. Castro
College of Arts and Sciences
University of Batangas
Batangas City

In Partial Fulfillment
Of the requirements for English Communication
First Semester A. Y. 2013-2014

by
RONEL D. MANANAP

September 16, 2013

I. INTRODUCTION
The Mule is a 2013 film produced by Lucas Jarach & directed by Gabriela
Tagliavini. Inspired by a true event, the movie is about Sofie (Sharon Stone), an
American reporter who searches for her missing brother at Mexico. At the border relief,
Roberto, a worker, immediately presented himself to bring her to where her brother was
last seen. But at the location, only her brothers cap has been the only thing Sofie have
seen. She went along with her search with Roberto. Only when Roberto has left that
she meets Javier who told Sofie about her brother and his location and agreed to bring
her to her brother.
Sofie met a 23 year-old man, Maria who is pregnant, her husband and a young
girl. These people were migrants wanting to go to America for good life. They ride in a
tanker that have been hallowed out and have been designed to carry people. Instead of
carrying them across the border, the tanker brought them to a facility.
Sofie was captured by Juanita, who held her hostage. She and the others were
given bottled water mixed with a medicine that made the party fell asleep.
When Sofie woke up, she saw herself being raped by a man. She was saved by
Javier. Both of them escaped and went across the border as they were being pursued.
At the American side of the border, one border patrol spots them and killed Javier on the
spot. Sofie was taken into the custody of the border police where she was being asked
question. Seeing nothing to charge her, she was released and saw Roberto who offered
her a drugged bottle water that made her sleep.
Sofie wake up and saw Aaron tied up. She learned that Roberto was the
mastermind of the human trafficking as well as using the immigrants as drug mule
across the border. As Roberto went out to face some businessmen and Juanita was

charged to guard them, she, in extreme pain, decides to fight and immediately killed
Juanita. She freed her brother Aaron and they escaped.
Drug Enforcement Agency has arrived at the scene and there have been a
conflict. Roberto, upon hearing those shots, immediately went inside and saw Juanita
dead. He realized what happened and pursue Sofie and Aaron who were running on the
desert. Soon, Roberto have caught up on them and about to stabbed one of them, when
Sofie fired at him, killing him in the process. Then, Sofie was almost dead when the
DEA Officials arrived and she fainted.
After being rescued, Sofie find herself awake in the hospital. Upon learning a lot
after all the sufferings she has experienced, she decided to adopt Javier's daughter. The
movie ended with, Sofie, Aaron and Javier's daughter in a car towards United States.

II.CHARACTER ANALYSIS
A. MAJOR CHARACTERS
1. SOFIE
She is a journalist who loved her family and cared a lot on the other
people. She is the most identifiable characters in the movie, since she has been
a medium of the audience's emotion on every scene. Her dedication towards her
family is very strong that she is ready to go to Mexico just to know if they were
safe and what really happened to them. She also appeared to be very trusting.
Her dedication and trusting nature have leaded her into a lot of deceptions and
suffering in the hands of the people whom she trusted. Nevertheless, she is also
one of the characters to be admired most when it comes to her courage and
sense of justice. These traits have led her to face the greatest evils in the US-

Mexico Borders and to fight for human rights against people who care less about
their fellow beings. It is as if she is the lone voice of right and reason in the midst
of a selfish and greedy society. She is also very compassionate, caring for
people needing help, even though she barely know them and have just met
them. She is even ready to help Javier to cross the border.

2. ROBERTO
A 'good guy' in disguise working at the border relief. At the beginning of
the film, It was he who first offered to help Sofie in her search of her brother.
When Sofie met him, he is a caring, responsible, nice guy who seemed very
protective for her. Even though at the first part of the movie he appeared as a
good guy, he seemed to give hints about his real nature. It is apparent that he is
trying to delay Sofie in her search, stopping at a lot of places of distraction. He
seemed to know Javier, a man working for an illegal human trafficking syndicate.
He was also seen rushing at the facility without apparent back-ups. Only after
Sofie have awakened and saw herself back at the facility did his real nature rise.
He is a cold-hearted drug dealer whose modus operandi is to transport people
wanting to go to America as drug mules. He also lacks compassion, as he
seemed to never care about the baby inside the pregnant woman. He never
cares who will he killed as long as he earned money thought drug deals. He is
the exact opposite of Sofie.
III. MOVIE ANALYSIS
1. What kind of violence were portrayed in the Movie? Cite some scenes to prove

it?
The Mule is a story of violence, a thing that is common nowadays. Every
day I have read, saw, heard and felt violence, fictionalized or not. In fact, no news
program, newspapers & radio programs are complete without stories of rape,
murder, massacre, theft, physical assaults, suicide, homicide, infanticide and
others. Crimes are very rampant nowadays that even I have become
accustomed & numb upon the prospect of hearing these stories or at least my
emotions got stirred in the beginning and nothing greater than that after.
The movie has portrayed violence in its many forms and natures. First, it
showed violence against the state, known as corruption. At the beginning of the
movie, Sofie have uncovered her big break as a journalist after proving the
corruption of a US Senator. In the scene when the tanker was being inspected as
it crosses the border, the driver of the tanker give no passport to the police, but
an envelope containing a hefty sum. This act where the police themselves can be
bribed shows corruption.
Second is violence against fellow being. This is the most common
violence portrayed in the movie. Scenes ranging from the torture of Aaron up to
the act of indirectly murdering the unborn child of Maria upon Juanita's merciless
stomping on her belly and unknowingly forcing Maria to take in capsuled drugs,
an act that crushed the baby. It was also apparent when Juanita inflicts pain
towards Sofie upon her discovery inside the tanker.
Third is violence against chastity. The best example of this violence is
when Sofie was raped by a man. Another is when Juanita violated the chastity of

one of the immigrants.


Fourth, violence against the law. It was shown in the modus operandi of
Roberto. The mere act of initiating a trade across the border, especially on drugs,
was against the law and illegal. It was also shown on the police at the border who
choose money over their duty.
Fifth, violence against human dignity. The act of treating Sofie and the
immigrants like animals and the act of using their body as transporter of illegal
drugs against their consent is enough to justify this kind of violence in the movie.
Let's face it. The movie is relevant not just to me, but to all of us. It is a
reality we are living in and a problem we are finding a solution for. From the
moment Cain murdered Abel to the most recent News of murder, violence exists.
From the moment Dinah, the daughter of Jacob was raped up to the latest rape
case, violence is present. From the moment when Israelites were enslaved at
Egypt up to the present where discrimination exists in the society, violence is
relevant. From the dawn of the very first war up to the armed conflict in Syria,
violence continues. It is a nature of humanity. It is so imprinted in our genes that
no matter how we try to live in peace and harmony, it will only takes a few years
to start it. It is encoded in the definition of a human being, a curse worsen by the
understanding of the right and wrong, and a mark that will always accompany us.
Though, it is impossible to remove, it must still be controlled, tamed and pacified
or everything will be lost, our species, love ones and legacy.
Humanity is at a never ending war against it. But no matter how
successful we are in most of this war, it will not be gone. It will always seep

through the cracks and crevices of our civilization and The mule have taught this
to us.
2. What are the similarities of the Mexicans and the Filipinos on how the view the
Americans?
Another relevance that this movie has in me is on how the people view the
United States of America. In the movie, Mexicans, like Filipinos, have always dreamt
of going to this greener pasture in the hope of a better life. A conception or much
more accurately misconception has brought thousands of peoples across the border
and thousands of people filing for visas at the American Embassies. Thus giving
opportunities to others to exploit them, a situation that exists today.