18 Sep 2015 ● English ● 2 hrs 3 mins
Rating: A (India)
Release Dates: 18 Sep 2015 (India)
Tagline: The border is just another line to cross.
English Name: Sicario
I’ve waited so long for this film. Heaven knows I have! And as the saying goes, “Good things come to those who wait”. Only, this isn’t just a good thing. It’s one of the year’s best. It’s a masterpiece of world cinema that grabs you by the neck and never lets you go till the end. It’s Villeneuve’s 4th masterpiece in seven attempts (at least by my count). Over these past two year, I’ve become a Villeneuve fan and it has been a wonderful journey of fantastic cinema. There’s this (poorly thought through and juvenile) theory I have that Villeneuve is what Nolan could have become if he hadn’t gone all blockbuster. Villeneuve’s treatment of the source material is so unique. Take Sicario apart and it turns out to be a very ordinary story about the Mexican drug cartel. But what helps elevate the source material is the director’s sure fire direction of suspense. I was virtually on the edge of my seat during most of the second half. I balled up my fists and that left nail marks on my sweaty sweaty palms. There were sequences when I couldn’t bear to watch. There were tense silences when I could feel my heart pounding mightily against my chest. This has to be the finest thriller of the year.
There is a reason I’m not giving you a synopsis of the story. The best way to go into Sicario is by being totally oblivious to even a story sketch. Don’t even watch the trailers if you haven’t already! Blunt is perfect for the role. She has the bad-assery to play an FBI agent while showing enough vulnerability to revel the cracks beneath the surface. Del Toro is in his element. The coldness and suave that he displays makes him the only person who can play that role. I seriously can’t think of anyone else more suitable. It’s probably his best performance in years. Josh Brolin as the cool headed CIA operative is something we’ve come to see in last year’s Inherent Vice. There is an interrogation scene in which is particularly memorable. There is also this bit of dark humor laced in which works brilliantly.
The cinematography requires special mention because it too felt like a character. Roger Deakins man! DAUM! Seriously, how the hell does he do what he does? He’s a bloody magician! The night time sequences actually look like night time sequences! The shots of the barren deserts, the sun baked cities, the night vision (refer movie), the thermal vision (also refer movie) were all done to absolute perfection. He simply has to win the Oscar for this. He has been rejected far too many times. In the Cannes press conference, Deakins cited Jean Pierre Melville’s films as an inspiration and it show. The sort of smooth transition from one shot to the next, the calm before the storm, the visual hues. It’s all there. Now I’m doubly excited for Blade Runner 2!
The score by Johann Johannsson (who also scored for Villeneuve’s Prisoners) is tremendous and adds to the mounting tension and anxiety. The editing is clear cut and the sound effects man! There were so many times that I felt jumpy! The vibrations of an approaching helicopter, the sound of tires over a road bump, the thunder of a gunshot, all made to sound absolutely perfect! In short, there were no flaws at all! It’s a perfect movie. Oh, yes it is!
The feeling of watching SIcario is like a Boa Constrictor attacking its prey. It coils itself around you and then starts to squeeze until you are out of breath and then swallows you whole. Even if you manage to get out alive, it does leave a very sizeable mark. You never truly recover from Sicario. It stays with you long after the credits stop rolling. DO NOT miss this film peeps. One of the best of the year.
5/5. Predicting it to be nominated for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Best Cinematography.