Feat. The Music of Lana Del Rey & Johan Johansson
“You should move to a small town, somewhere the rule of law still exists. You will not survive here. You are not a wolf, and this is a land of wolves now.”
Lady Justice, blind as she is, cannot see those treacherous individuals who thwart her efforts. Even as they stand beside her…
Sicario (2015) is a grim look at America’s war on drugs, as seen from the perspective of an idealistic FBI agent, Kate Macer (Emily Blunt). Macer is recruited by a CIA task force, headed by the flip-flop sporting, Matt Graver (Josh Brolin), to help “shake up” the Mexican Drug Cartels, and bring their Kingpins to justice, supposedly.
Rather than serving out justice as she had intended, Macer spends most of her time trying to figure out just what the hell is going on. Graver’s laid back affectation is of little comfort her – he’s either horrible with detail, or he is intentionally withholding information about the mission, such as, who’s the man in the Khaki Canali suit? (Benicio Del Toro). And what the hell is he doing here? “What the hell are we doing here?”
Within 24 hours of joining the team, Macer finds herself over the border, speeding through the hostile streets of Juarez in a five car motorcade. The suspense is through the roof as she senses the clear and present danger lurking outside her vehicle. It’s a can’t miss scene that I wish I could show you, but at roughly 10 minutes, it’s simply too long for our purposes.
Ultimately, it’s up to Macer to figure out why she’s being kept in the dark. As she descends further down the rabbit hole, we go with her, and soon find ourselves in a complete moral mess. What’s the right thing to do? Is it even in our power to choose anymore?
The police in this film all have one thing in common – they are all pawns in someone else’s game, someone far more powerful. And they all move as they are ordered to. Sometimes all it takes is a “good enough” lie to get them to cooperate, to put their restless minds at ease. Let them believe they are making a difference. Or bribe them. Such measures seem to work best on those officers with families, for who duty comes second to putting food on the table for their children.
Then there are the Kate Macers of law enforcement, for who money is not as sweet as the taste of justice. Who have no families to provide for. Who, by acts of will, are able to break through the facade of lies placed before them. Who’ll stop at nothing to do what is right. How are they dealt with? An age-old adage seems apropos: If you mess with the bull, you’ll get the horns.
SPOILER ALERT! The next paragraph contains spoilers!
Macer’s plight for justice ends in a quiet room, with a gun to her head, listening to somebody she once trusted explain to her very clearly how things are going to go, and that if she continues to resist, she “would be committing suicide.”
The man offers her a cheap consolation, “You should move to a small town, somewhere the rule of law still exists. You will not survive here. You are not a wolf, and this is a land of wolves now.”
Experience This: Descending into Darkness
[ A foreboding orchestral score begins. One long, brooding bass note sounds behind a soft beating drum. We see a desert landscape at dusk. Thunder clouds rumble off to the east. To the west the Sun has set. A streak of orange crimson paints the horizon line, and gently illuminates three dark SUVs which are parked single file in the sand.
A man is in verbal communication, via tac-comm, with a man offsite, who is giving him directions to a nearby target. Around a dozen soldiers (all male except one) are tailgating behind one of the vehicles. One of them, a tall, dark-haired man places a black ski mask over his head. The others are loading gear and ammunition into the pockets of their khaki camoflouage vests, adjusting night vision goggles, and shouldering their weapons. We hear the “patch patch” sound of opening velcro as the soldiers gear-up.
A cello strikes up a percussive Williams’ Jaws-esque riff – two tones in the bass scale, a natural half-step apart (B-C), in quick varying succession – a threat is coming from below.
…The soldiers huddle briefly, then disperse into two columns and begin marching westward toward the fading light. All we can see are their silhouettes. The slashing cello continues, as a fluttering horn section now chimes in as well. The terrain slopes downward, causing the soldiers to dip below the horizon as they walk. One by one they disappear into the night likes ghosts. ]
EFC 07 Soundtrack: “God Knows I Tried” by Lana Del Rey
If the above link doesn’t work try here: https://youtu.be/RxEqNKGy4Yc
Release Date: October 2, 2015
Director: Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Arrival)
Writer: Taylor Sheridan (Hell or High Water)
Cast: Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Daniel Kaluuya, Maximiliano Hernandez, Victor Garber, Jeffrey Donovan, and Jon Bernthal
Cinematography: Roger Deakins
Composer: Johan Johannsson
The Inside Out: Anger (34%), Fear (21%), Disgust (14%), Sadness (5%), Joy (3%).