Possibly the most radical fusion of thought and action of all Kazan's films, Viva Zapata! uses its protagonist as a pretext for posing the question of whether an individual can continuously translate thought into action; or, rather, treat living itself as a single, sustained act. To this end, Kazan suffuses the film with volatile, energetic strings, encompassing telegraph wires, train lines, dynamite, confetti-poppers and, above all, the lasso, moustache and personality of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata himself, whose brooding embodiment of "the conscience of the whole world" is perfectly suited to Marlon Brando's bodily, Method-inflected acting. As a result, speech plays less of a part than in any of Kazan's other films, reduced either to a series of denuded, impotent propositions ("I'm a friend to no one and to nothing except logic"), or a proliferation of aphorisms whose significance is largely extrinsic, whether figured in terms of their ability to mystically invoke Zapata's presence, or achieve more tangible results, as when he is forced to exchange proverbs with his prospective in-laws as part of his courting ceremony. As a result, his culminative speech doesn't advocate revolution so much as embody it - the language of a man who can speak, but not read ("Liberty is not a word, but a man sitting safely in front of his home...") - while his subsequent death is subsumed into the more general continuity of the land for which he has fought ("Can you capture a river? Can you kill the wind?"), whose topography has been largely deflected into the minutiae of his face, ensuring that revolution takes on a particularly sensual, if not overly charismatic, quality.