Review: Sin Nombre

We are not born free. We are born into our culture, religion and the environment. Almost everyone gets carried away with the tide that has been around forever. You take whatever is handed out to you and do not question. Life is hard and relentless. Always brings you down. In some places it is more than the others. If you want to rebel, it stamps you down. If you want to run away it hunts you down. If you want to break free. It destroys your soul. Off the millions there are a few thousands thinking of the fight, a few hundred start it and eventually a handful might win. Now if one is among the millions or the thousands or the hundreds or the handful victors one knows not until the struggle is over. Only to start out a new struggle all over again.

You are born in a place where you are easily sucked into a criminal gang with a violent subculture and find yourself deprived of a life you want to live or deserve. Your loved ones are snatched away from you and you know that any form of dissidence and rebellion will only end with definite punishment. Yet in the spur of the moment when the deepest of your emotions overcome your resolve to stay sane to stay alive, you commit the ‘unforgivable’ and live with the dire consequences.

We always have a measure of a better life. Instincts tell us to get away from the decadent current state in pursuit of a dream in the land of opportunities. We are ready to suffer a seemingly never ending string of hardships for the tantalizing promise of a better future. In this pursuit we need to trust those instincts which tell us what to do for more often than not we know no better. Sometimes the instincts make you take a dive headlong in trusting someone who you barely know.

Why do we have to take those decisions we take which alter our paths? We do not think of the consequences and live in the instant as it happens. When life is happening too fast and danger at all times, that’s all we can do. We now don’t even care why you take each decision; it’s all about surviving the decision regardless of why we took it and what it resulted in. We don’t have the luxury of holding on to spare some time to think. At the end of the day it’s all about doing what you thought was right and of course survival.

Sin Nombre is almost as harsh reality can get in the wake of an attempt for a better life. Be it sneaking into US from Honduras or running away from your own clan which is out to hunt you down you are out there battling random scenarios against bad odds and the utmost detail to which this movie goes into capturing this is phenomenal. Never did I ever feel that I was watching an enactment, I was right there with the migrants on the top of the train trying to sneak into the US alive. I was there with a south Mexican gang witnessing their initiations, meetings and hunts in all the colours and violence they are used to. I was there facing certain death while having an inexplicable need to safeguard a person who trusts completely and unwaveringly.

Cary Joji Fukunaga’s brave attempt in capturing the reality and weaving into a wonderful tale has come off well. It is an amazing movie and I cannot vouch if the life is exactly the same as he portrayed but he damn sure convinced me. The performances by Casper, Sayra and Smiley are spot on lending a little more grip to reality and in turn on our heartstrings.


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