Direction: Denis Villeneuve
Actors: Emily Blunt, Benecio Del Toro
An explosive overview of the complex chain of drug trafficking along the US-Mexico border, Sicario (Mexican slang for ‘hitman’) consolidates the reputation of French-Canadian director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners) as a supremely skilful storyteller.
Riding shotgun with a SWAT team, an FBI agent (Blunt) storms a cartel lord’s ‘safe house’ in Arizona only to discover scores of decaying corpses bricked into the walls. It isn’t long before she enlists for a covert operation that carries out renegade raids on the narcotics network across the Mexican border. One of the most striking aspects of the narrative — the debut script by Taylor Sheridan — is that it never loses momentum. The tension is ratcheted up bit by bit as the true purpose of the mission gradually becomes clear to the idealistic agent.
Watch the Sicario trailer here
Blunt deftly conveys the mood of bewildered anxiety and moral ambiguity in which the tale is drenched. Besides Blunt, the film features top-notch performances by both Benecio Del Toro and Josh Brolin.
But the real star of the show is Roger Deakins. Whether it’s the breathtaking vistas of El Paso, Texas, or Juarez, Mexico, it’s time his virtuosic lensing was acknowledged by his peers at the Academy Awards.
The news that director Villeneuve is currently collaborating with Roger Deakins again, on a long-overdue sequel of the sci-fi classic Blade Runner, is cause for jubilation. Incidentally, there’s talk of a sequel to Sicario too.