Sicario (2015) - Denis Villeneuve
After a routine drug bust unearths a string of corpses in a small Arizona suburb, Kate Macer, an idealistic FBI agent, finds herself recruited into a joint government task force to aid in the escalating violence and death associated with the drug trade. Serving as a consultant of sorts, Kate finds herself in they middle of a secret and enigmatic task force that doesn't exactly play by the rules when it comes to fighting the war on drugs, eventually shattering Kate's idealism about her work, leading her to question everything she believes in when it comes to her job. Denis Villeneuve's Sicario is an extremely well-crafted, pulse-pounding thriller about the war on drugs that paints a poignant portrait of sinister and corruptive nature the drug trade can have on all individuals, including the ones who are simply trying to fight it. This is a film about darkness and disillusionment, with Denis Villeneuve capturing how the only way to inevitably fight evil is through evil, following our main protagonist as she finds herself in way over her head in a world where all semblance of kindness and empathy have been stripped away due to the brutality of the drug trade. Being firmly from the point-of-view of idealistic FBI agent Kate Macer, Sicario is a film that creates a sense of mystery around basically every character in the film, making many of Kate's cohorts, particularly Alejandro, a consultant played by Benecio Del Toro, and task force leader Matt, played brilliantly by Josh Brolin, characters that feel almost just as untrustworthy and shady as the drug dealers the task force is after. Through Matt and Alejandro, Sicario captures two men who have become completely desensitized to the death and brutality of the world they inhabit, with Kate being a character who finds herself questioning her own morality and idealism about her job in the process.. Sicario is by no means a political film but one that attempts to capture the toll the drug war has on everyone involved, from the authorities who try to stop its distribution, to the families in places like Juarez, Mexico who are forced to live in a world where violence and death is common place. Featuring cinematography and direction which effectively elicits a sense of dread and tension, Sicario is a film that certainly doesn't shy away from presenting the brutality and evil nature of drug trade, with Villeneuve routinely having his frame linger on death, not only amplifying the unease of the film but visually capturing the toll it takes on our main protagonist. Tense, dark, and well-made, Denis Villenueve's Sicario is a vivid portrait of horrendous effects the drug trade has on everyone and everything it touches.
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