Benicio Del Toro in a scene from the movie Sicario.
Benicio Del Toro in a scene from the movie Sicario. Richard Foreman Jr

Movie Review: The naked truth with Sicario


Stars: Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Reviewer: Javier Encalada

Score: 4/5


IN this grim tale of pain, an idealistic FBI agent is enlisted by an elected government taskforce to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the US and Mexico.

The film plays with shock value and violence like a kid plays in a muddy puddle - with gusto.

Agent Kate Macer gets a rough introduction to the world of drug cartels, the people that are involved in the "war on drugs" and the toll it takes on everyone's lives.

Emily Blunt plays Agent Macer, a person whose vulnerability and morals end up being a hindrance to her performing as an effective agent in this mission.

Blunt does a great job playing Macer, but this film belongs to Benicio del Toro and his rendition of Alejandro, a former Colombian prosecutor who has a powerful reason to go after narcos.

There is so much pain in Benicio's eyes in this film, and you wonder why. You soon get your answer.

Alejandro is the Batman you wish you never met in real life.

If this film wasn't so realistic, it would have been considered too violent and, perhaps, racist.

A particularly interesting feature of this film is director Denis Villeneuve's treatment of the paramilitary mission sequences.

They resemble a video game, and they are so well done it almost makes you feel guilty for admiring the beauty in war.

This film is only a pale depiction of the hell that is life in the border cities of El Paso in the US and Juarez in Mexico.

It stands as a document of a cruel reality we don't normally want to know anything about.

Another interesting character in this film is Matt Graver, played by Josh Brolin.

We are never sure who Graver works for, but he sure is a deadly player in this game, even in thongs and a T-shirt.

The fact that Graver uses Macer as a chess piece in his own game, and that he validates this behaviour by the fact that she volunteers for the mission, is one of the biggest moral conundrums in this film.

And moral conundrums there are a-plenty.

This is not an easy movie to watch, but it will prompt an interest discussion at dinner table, if you can eat after watching Sicario, that is.

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