What we would not have imagined in Denis Villeneuve, it is to be amazed by its staging… Because this is what is SICARIO : a pure movie scene.
But far from being pejorative, or reducer, to us this means that the realization is a balance between several aspects, of the imaging, the writing, passing through the direction of actors, the sensitivity of the director, the use of sound, or the environment is described by the film.
This aspect total of the stage is finally a trait recurrent in the official selection, the very image of Fury Road, or Carol. This is exactly the movie that we love, where we feel a genuine intelligence of organization and thinking behind a realization of the crystal clear. Then if, in addition, there’s explosions and gunfights in it…
SICARIO begins with an incredible scene of action of 15 minutes, the first thing that we perceive is the soundtrack. The one, which is a real element of staging, however, is simple : heartbeats who are deaf and powerful. They are very lightly accompanied by an orchestral music scary. The way of the score of John Williams to the Teeth of the Sea, this motif was a recurring theme of the film is a source of tension undeniable, and modifies as much as it shapes our perception of events.
After a presentation of the environment (a residential suburb lambda) and the action that will soon take place (the assault of one of the huts by a unit of intervention), it penetrates the interior of the armoured vehicle carrying the assailants, to discover Kate. The camera will remain glued to the young woman from there, the accompanying in the same way that the music (beats, (we remind you), as a real character. We don’t know WHO or WHAT they will attack, and them no more : the suspense is already at its max, even before the assault began. It will gain in magnitude during the attack of the hut, before finding an unexpected conclusion, and bluffing, laying the foundations of a universe that has a very concrete to which neither we nor Kate, were prepared.
After this first stage bluffing, Kate was inducted into to the within a new team of unknown, with the official goal of dismantling THE drug cartel local. It is what it is. The second action scene is the first mission of this team.
A certain notion of danger we is instilled from the beginning of the film already by the first scene, and then by the theme music hyper distressing, which does not let us down EVER… Then, the blur total surrounding the mission in question, and finally the shady characters involved : a team of mercenaries badass, a consultant of state with full powers (Josh Brolin), and finally this unknown man as creepy as he is mysterious (the charismatic Benicio Del Toro). Before beginning the action, by and large : it is not aware of anything, but you know it will be hyper-dangerous.
The place of the action is located to our surprise, in Mexico… Well, extra danger: if you do not feel safe on the side U. S. of the border… Ah, that’s the goal : go from point a to point B, retrieve the “target” and back to point A. have to go looking… at the center of a designated city, 2 minutes earlier, as hell on earth. Play football in a minefield what. Agree.
“But don’t worry, we will be escorted”. A convoy of 5 large SUVS filled with mercenaries surly that needs an escort of a dozen jeeps ultra armies. OK. Aaaah what is this thing awful ? The cartels that leave us pretty “warnings” ultra creepy ones. Very well. We will all die.
If this second stage is so huge, it’s because we imagine in spite of us a threat absolutely indefinite, but which can spring out of nowhere. This is definitely not free. This is because all the elements are methodically put in place by Villeneuve to give birth to this feeling of stress : both intradiégétique (within the narration), and extradiégétique, via the staging, the music of Jóhann Jóhannsson, the fact that you married the point of view skimpy, Kate. Empathy nourishes the staging, and vice versa.
This big action scene also displays an intention new in Villeneuve : stir in his scenario, by the draft, the environment of the film. It will develop, therefore, never really through dialogue or direct explanation, but by the universe and the actions of the characters.
The link between these two aspects is Kate, a neutral figure, and from the outset defined as observer. Villeneuve pushes to the maximum the process emphatic to this heroine. However, this empathy is not front such as the would like to the rules of the entertainment, but cold and remote as usual in Villeneuve. It is through the sensory feeling that one identifies with Kate, and not through his personality or his experience. The stage then comes to tap into that empathy to build up, not as support of a scenario, but as the voltage vector. This voltage is VERY constant incentive to scrutinize with attention the universe of the film, to be able to evaluate the various hazards (physical, moral ; the manipulations). Information management, a major part of the cinema Villeneuvedoes not translate orally as usual, but rather in the sense of constant urgency distilled by the film.
“Powerful live shows, bringing together sensory, empathy, and interactions the characters / environment, in the service of a mythology complex.”
Villeneuve shows a new facet of his talent as a writer : an intelligent and coherent loop, bringing together the aspects cited above to construct from actual data (the cartels, the war of drugs, the interest in economic – policy itself), a mythology complex. Through this filter a look ultra-political (as in Gomorrah), which gives an account of a dead end situation, while putting in perspective the interests of each government in this fight against drugs. Better yet, a certain emotional range comes to replace, unexpectedly, the tragic destinies of individual in events of large-scale international. The prism of the cinema, and the link between reality and fiction with a skill unexpected.
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