Monday, 5 September 2016

Bandidas (4 Stars)

Two very different women are united in a common cause. It's Mexico in the 1850's. Maria's father is a poor farmer. Sara's father owns a bank in the town. Tyler, the representative of a large New York bank, travels to Mexico to form a partnership with the small Mexican bank. After the deal has been signed Tyler poisons Sara's father and becomes sole owner of the bank. He then goes to reclaim the land from farmers who are in debt, shooting them if they refuse to hand over their land. Among others, Maria's father is killed.

To gain revenge, Maria puts on a mask and goes to rob the bank. On the same day Sara also goes to rob the bank. After a short argument about who got there first the two women team up. The New York bank has a string of subsidiaries in Mexico, so they decide to rob them all. It's not easy to rob banks as amateurs, so they spend time training with a retired bank robber. That's a clever man. Usually bank robbers don't retire, they always want more and more money, so they don't stop till they're caught.

The Mexican authorities are baffled by the crime spree. They know that the bank robbers are women, but they have no clue who they are. The bank is frustrated by the incompetence of the local police, so they hire a top detective from New York.

Despite years of training Detective Quentin Cooke is no match for the Bandidas. What did you expect?

Poor Quentin. He's totally at their mercy, tied to the bed, scared stiff, with a gun in his face.

But as every little pussycat knows, what's the point in catching a mouse if you can't play with your food? When Maria admits that she's never kissed a man Sara shows her how it's done. That's enough to make Quentin's toes curl.

This is a tale of how the West was won. Or from America's point of view, how the West was lost. After a serious beginning the film is a gentle comedy romp. It's good family viewing.

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