Telehit's resident cineasta Kristoff agreed with his visiting compadres that Luis Estrada's El Infierno was the best Mexican movie of 2010, even though they reckoned it was all over the place in terms of structure.
I tend to disagree. I've heard several films censured recently (Tamara Drewe among them) for being uncertain of whether they want to be one thing or another. And sure enough, one might say of El Infierno that it wants to be a Mexican version of The Godfather, Scarface and Mickey Blue Eyes all at once, splattered with references to Robert Rodriguez's Mariachi series. Well, so what, because in this instance the blend of comedy of tragedy works.
Estrada takes a lot on board, because the story of Benny — the returning wetback who becomes a comparatively big fish in one of Mexico's many small narco-ponds — points to the all-inclusive nature of this curse, which even the protagonist's cathartic act of violence at the end cannot dispel.
Grade: A -