With a title like that, you are already guided by Castañeda to focus on what Veronica's silence hides, more than what she can actually say.
The film begins as Veronica wakes her daughter up to the tune of a birthday song. They are both in close up, still in bed. You might think the mother is protecting her daughter from the outside forces inside a womb-like frame, but don't forget Veronica is in the frame as well. Are you Happy? she asks the little girl. Yes, she is. But, of course you know Veronica isn't. Her voice is a canvas filled with disillusionment. "Sometimes, you are so happy that you start crying" Veronica teaches her daughter.
The film then takes us for a ride with the promise of a birthday celebration with a chocolate cake and a surprise, and the ride proves to be nothing to celebrate. Suddenly, you are in González Iñárritu territory, somewhere between Amores Perros and Biutiful, by way of Maria Full of Grace. Veronica finds herself without a job, without a husband and without documents, and in need to survive, which turns her into an easy prey for drug trafficking. That's when you realize the film is a clash between the fantasy of a girl's birthday and the struggle of her mother to keep that illusion alive at all cost while juggling with her illegal status. It's not an easy task.
Martin Castañeda makes sure you run into each element one at a time, without rushing, in the silences between short speeches. And he traces the loss of innocence in small but precise strokes, heralding a filmmaker with a strong sense of storytelling. The acting ensemble lead by Daniella Rincón, is strong and convincing.
When you discover what Veronica's silence hides, you realize who is the one losing her innocence.