Jack’s Movie Reviews features an analysis of the film Sicario. Jack emphasizes a mixture of explanatory style editing as well as a visual and sonic juxtaposition. Jack uses this type of videographic style in order to explain the complex narrative of the film. It should be noted that the film showcases three different narratives: Kate, Alejandro, and Silvio. By focusing on each separate character, Jack assesses how each character’s narrative fits the overarching theme of the film.
Moreover, Jack addresses Kate, an FBI agent. From the beginning of the film, Kate demonstrates an interest in capturing the people who caused the explosion in the first scene. Jack notes that unlike the other two characters, Kate upholds to a certain moral compass. It is then quite frustrating for her when she takes on the task of accompanying another CIA agent, Matt Graver, across the border. No one gives her further information as to their reason to visit their neighbor down south, Mexico. Even more confusing, the introduction of Alejandro leads Kate to further question her role in the entire mission. To add further suspicion, once Kate meets Alejandro abroad a private plane, she realizes she is no longer in control. Jack underscores Kate’s feelings by presenting several scenes which show her frustration and lack of control. He tells the viewers why her frustration matters. Kate’s moral compass as shown through her ability to question everything invites the viewer to show some sort of allegiance with her character; however, as Jack points out, the film also aligns the viewer with Alejandro’s character, especially after the viewer finds out about the death of his family.
Continuing, the introduction of these characters creates a juxtaposition. It may seem that they both want some sort of redemption. Kate wants to bring justice against the cartel members; Alejandro wants to avenge his family’s murder and kill the cartel boss. Even though they both show some sense of redemption, their method of achieving this final result differs. For instance, Kate, as an FBI agents, relies on various legal protocols. Unlike Agent Graver, who works for the CIA, Alejandro does not need to follow any sort of legal protocol. What both agents cannot legally do, Alejandro merely commits to his own agenda. In possessing this rejection towards the law, Alejandro represents a sort of cultural chameleon. He is capable of literally crossing borders via privates planes. He acts as an invisible man. Everyone knows of him, but they wish not to recognize his presence. If they do, this would force them to confront the moral conflict of using an assassin to take out those the U.S. deems as unnecessary. Jack emphasizes Alejandro’s isolation throughout the film by showing scenes where he confronts Kate. Jack further underscores Alejandro’s omniscient presence by using the non-diegetic soundtrack from the film to create an even more dark, moody, feeling.
Jack eventually introduces the final character, Silvio, a husband, and policeman. In using these two terms to describe Silvio, Jack notes that the film subverts Silvio’s role as a husband. The scenes shown in the video depict Silvio as a caring man; however, Jack reiterates that the film angles his narrative by focusing on the aspects of his occupation as a policeman. It is interesting to see where Silvio fits in the entire narrative of the film. On one hand, he represents a cog in the cartel war. He smuggles drugs for an unknown cartel. It is only when he crosses paths with Alejandro that the viewer finds some sort of sympathy towards his story. Jack stresses the conflict that the viewer may feel when reaching this point of Silvio’s plotline. A series of scenes show him playing with his son. The film then juxtaposes this visual with the continuous, somber soundtrack. This soundtrack reminds the viewer once again of Silvio’s ties to the underworld of his occupation.
Moreover, it is interesting how Jack manages to remind the viewer of this reoccurring theme throughout the film: the conflict between the evil deeds that good people commit. By the end of the video, one feels a bit overwhelmed by the constant contradictions that each character commits. Perhaps the biggest contradiction that Jack presents is Kate’s moral deterioration as shown through the color of her shirt. At the start of the film, she wears a bright blue shirt which eventually she replaces with a dull grey shirt. Here, the film suggests Kate’s inability to know what is right from wrong. The emotional toll of being a part of such a dangerous mission has left her confused as to which side of the drug war is the right side.