This is a film from 2015 but I just watched it a few weeks ago. It’s about an FBI who winds up on a Mexican drug cartel task force. Her morals are tested much as the subjects in the real life documentary Cartelland‘s were. Questions of when do the ends justify the means? Is it more important to get justice or revenge? What compromises in your personal moral code are acceptable to do your job? What principles do you hold higher than your life? Can you trust someone whose answers differ from yours to these questions? When do two wrongs make a right? Do they ever?
There have been many movies about the new idealistic recruit that comes in and learns the practicality of being on the street. In the end they come out more pragmatic and learned the evil you know may be better than the one you don’t. I am not against compromise. I’m all for it but there come a time where you have to decide if you can compromise or if it’s a moral stand. That’s what the primary character faces in this movie.
This is the kind of movie where no one gets the right answer. At times I agree with where she takes her stand and at others I think she’s being too idealistic. I never think she’s amoral or consumed with revenge or corrupt as I do think many of the other characters she encounters in her mission. Along the way just as in the real documentary some well intended people find that power and/or money can change their tolerances for what they first looked upon as wrong. In the end I do think she comes out wiser and less idealistic but more defined. She does find her stand and takes it. It’s a personal definition of where her personal line is for action.
I think the movie is worth a watch today. Sicario is a character that comes up with her own answers that aren’t typical off the stove Hollywood fare of idealistic becomes jaded practical. I won’t spoil where she comes down in the end but the character’s journey is one worth taking. Look it up, watch it, and see where you think she’s right and wrong. I will say I think the end isn’t true to who the character is then. She like most good characters and real people struggles to be consist in her morality but she isn’t which is what makes this a great character piece.