For me, the cinematic screen is about its importance; about the audacity of it and as well as its sheer gravity. I’ve been watching films since a very young age. Ever since understanding the difference between the right and left hand, I’ve held the cinema screen more than just a source of entertainment. It is more about understanding the world—nature of us, the man; the universe, first and foremost, the purpose of us, meaning our existence. Cinema, it can be, and it is the foremost source of understanding, not the significance of the art only, but the art of the universe, its mysteries and of music and human nature. Cinema, in my opinion, when it comes to a particular film, should be blessed with didactic content, for cinema proffers the fact—the reality. I’m not at all interpreting as to why cinema shouldn’t be aimed as just entertainment. By all means, it is about entertainment. But an essential, unique kind of entertainment as it is rich with cognizance.
Cinema consists of captured experiences and when I say captured-experiences, I mean what is seen on the screen. The act of viewing, depending on the kind of a film that one is viewing, is one’s own personal experience. Cinema, since it is an experience, an encounter, is told to the viewer in the form of the motion picture by the writer/director. Events that are in a film, not matter how realistically executed, don’t necessarily indicate that the writer or the director has gone through them in his or her life. Though, the experience of an event in history, for example, can be taught and understood thoroughly through education.
The focus is on Sicario, which is written by Taylor Sheridan and directed by Denis Villeneuve. When I was viewing this film, and especially after the screening, my focus, mainly was to comprehend what is essential in it. Often with great filmmakers, and I say, “often,” for we, unfortunately, don’t have too many of them. While we do have some great filmmakers their body of the work is understood by some. Great filmmakers, wants us to focus on something else entirely when it comes to their films. There are times when they want us to learn how to focus as they feel they have a responsibility. A great filmmaker interprets the cinema, however, sometimes they like us to see and understand more than just cinema—more than entertainment. Cinema-goers, in my opinion, up to 60 percent of them, when they view a great auteur’s body of work, they are present to view the aspect of, not cinema anymore, but of the true world—their world.
Mr. Villeneuve is not an ordinary filmmaker. Like all great filmmakers, he has a responsibility. A filmmaker’s leadership is actually more than an interpretation of cinema and more than his or her personal point of view. The world’s that we see in Denis Villeneuve films, be it Incendies; Prisoners; Enemy and now, Sicario, he wants us to see deep into this world of man. Sicario, on the surface, is the tension on land dividing United States and Mexico, dealing with cartels. A few men are on route to eradicate the source of the conflict, all seen from the perspective of one main character, Kate Macer, limned passionately by Emily Blunt, whom is very much like us, the cinema-goer. However, Sicario’s metaphor is far deeper and darker than the world itself. The film’s intrinsic meaning, the very infra-narrative of it, is easy to say it is about “understanding.” yet it is difficult to understand the purpose, leadership, responsibility of both the writer and director as what is it that they are trying to tell us. We know the problem as we’re aware of the conflict in the region in real life. To help us understand, Sheridan’s script has one more player, Alejandro, who is played by Benicio Del Toro. Josh Brolin’s character, Matt Graver, is the one, who is playing the chess game, like Denis. They both have their favorite player, Alejandro on the ground.
When it comes to Alejandro, if I, personally, have to decipher his existence on the page, he is the world we live in. A world that is wounded and completely veiled by scars. Imagine, the planet Earth, turning his back to man, for man is an animal. However, Alejandro has kindness. His affection is the sign of his innocence. Yet sadly we don’t get to see the innocent aspect of the character much. When we comprehend where Alejandro comes from, we are maybe saying to ourselves, the difference between the good and evil is balanced. The good must win, evil must lose. Alejandro believes, the devil must first understand the true nature of evil. The question is what is the devil? Who is it? Is it the nature? Is it the man or the God?
The devil, it can be man-made. It is purely circumstance here that has the man captured, whom is Alejandro. Like Alejandro, there are men, who walk on the Earth, wounded, with loss of innocence. The world we live in has turned more fragile than us, for man has the world taken hostage. But, the devil walking as a man must meet and understand sometimes the importance of a demon. We must, too, as the cinema-goer, understand more than just entertainment, the audacity of cinema. Sicario’s iconic, haunting, its utmost eerie conclusion says, peace is a lost right to some and therefore, Alejandro exists in order to bring balance to the good and evil aspect. Kate, pointing the gun at Alejandro comprehends and that is why she chooses not to put Sicario down. Perhaps, she is thinking, standing on the balcony with hate in her heart that this monster is the creation of God and he is important to be understood. When Kate, she understands, we understand. When we understand, we let him exist. We let him turn his back and walk away, proceeding towards the battleground where good is going to collide with the evil. The monster meets the prey. A necessary monster—creation of the God, or, circumstance.