Monday, 8 February 2016
I've just rewatched that Sicario movie - which has now been released on streaming services.
The title is Latin American for hitman, usually referencing drug cartels. That is supposedly the basic plot line, although there isn't a hitman in the Timothy Oliphant or Rupert Friend style.
This movie is set along the US-Mexican border and we get stunning swooping views of the territory showing its immense scale as well as the menacing cartel run towns with optional laws such as Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua.
The crowded movie poster shows the tough-guys (Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro) and the ingenue female cop (played by Emily Blunt). The way things get done is frequently by passive-aggressive bullying of Blunt's character and not telling her what is happening. The guys frequently use their knowledge and swagger to exert power over her character.
Despite the crowded poster, the movie actually breathes with a lot more space. Space between characters, large distances, large gaps in the communications.
The setup, right from the start, shows the never ending brutality of the drug cartels, and role of Brolin and Del Toro is supposed to be to create some chaos and clean up. That creates a slightly episodic journey with several taut set-pieces. Noticeably, it's almost as lawless on the American enforcement side, although some of the captures seem to survive until they get roughed up in later scenes.
There's some perfunctory attempts to paint the bigger picture of the cartels and the amount of drugs entering the USA, but the story revolves mainly around a specific sequence of events and doesn't really explore the broader theme.
There's an interesting pulsing soundtrack too (right from the first second when it almost sounds like its spill sound from another theatre) and the cinematography is quite stunning. This time I watched it on a small screen and already decided it really needs to be seen again on a large screen.