Saturday, October 10, 2015
The Undertext of Sicario
About a fifth of the US population takes illegal drugs at least from time to time. There's Cocaine, Heroin and Methamphetamine and then the lesser ones like Ecstasy. There may be something else too of which I am unaware. I am non-tragically unhip.
So the criminal element south of our border controls an immensely profitable trade in these banned substances. They have so much money and power as a result, that the corruption has taken a permanent place in many Spanish speaking governments. And there is the criminal organizations we lump together as the Mexican mafia or cartel. There appears to be a war between subsets of the cartels but I don't know that for sure. Anyway, whatever the reality is, there is its depiction in our movies and TV.
In the very depressing The Counselor (which I did not like at all), the cartel is depicted as an all powerful, violent but shadowy group that will reach out and destroy you and it is implacable, unable to be reasoned with or appealed to and it will not quit (isn't this the description of the Terminator in the first movie?).
Sicario is just as depressing because its overriding theme is that to effectively combat it we have to become as ruthless, evil and corrupt as what we're fighting. The purpose of the fight seemed a little silly (reconstruct a united drug cartel) but the movie was quite good, compelling even. I particularly liked the attack by Shane from The Walking Dead on Emily Blunt and then its echo by Brolin after the tunnel raid.
I have a solution to the drug problem which I think would work but that's for another post.