When drug violence worsens on the USA Mexico border, the FBI sends an idealistic agent, Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) on a mission to eradicate a drug cartel responsible for a bomb that had killed members of her team. Kate is paired up with covert assassin Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) and head of the task force, Matt Graver (Josh Brolin). Together they aim to track down this drug cartel and stop more people from being killed. As their investigation continues the line between justice and morality becomes blurred and Kate is forced into positions that she doesn’t want to be in. It also becomes clear that not everyone on their team is working for the same purposes.
There have been a lot of good reviews about this film and a few of my friends had seen it before me and raved about it so I had high expectations going into it. They were definitely not wrong, the film is gripping and there are plenty of twists and turns. It also gives a very good insight into the world of drugs in Mexico and doesn’t shy away from showing us the more gruesome realities of that scene. Kate’s character is there to act out how we the audience would react, she is disturbed by what she sees and struggles to get into the same mindset towards the task at hand as the men that surround her. That doesn’t mean that she is not strong enough, she is an FBI agent and quite capable of the job, it’s just a sharp contrast to what she normally deals with. Emily Blunt is fantastic as the lead, she really understood this character and brings a certain rawness to the situation that means we connect to her. Emily has proven that she can adapt to all genres and is one of my favourite actresses to watch.
Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro are also excellent in their roles. Together their characters are cocky and disrespectful towards Kate as they clearly see her as a hindrance to their task, therefore they leave her out of important discussions and order her around, but ultimately they need her status to carry out their plans without getting into serious trouble and so they must include her – something which they clearly resent. Their characters are the total opposite of Kate which makes for good viewing as they constantly clash through the film. Benicio in particular is brilliant as the mysterious Alejandro, it is unclear to everyone – including Kate – why he is really a part of the team and this isn’t revealed until later in the film.
Visually Sicario is stunning, there are a lot of aerial shots showing us vast landscapes and a birds eye view of the action taking place. At one point the team are working in darkness and using infra-red lenses and the camera adopts this too so we become a part of the team and only see what they are capable of seeing. My favourite scene though was when the team were walking through the dark and all you could see were their black silhouettes and the deep orange of the sunset (pictured). The music accompanying the film really helps build up the drama and suspense making for a gripping watch.
The only downside to the film is that at times the plot got a little confusing (but that might have been down to my lack of knowledge towards the drugs business in Mexico!) and a few things that happened at the beginning of the film were never really explained. Otherwise it’s a very good film and one that both genders can watch and enjoy.