- Director: Ben Affleck
Actors: Tony MendezBen AffleckJack O'DonnellBryan CranstonLester SiegelAlan ArkinJohn ChambersJohn GoodmanKen TaylorVictor GarberBob AndersTate DonovanCora LijekClea DuVallJoe StaffordScoot McNairyLee SchatzRory CochraneMark LijekChristopher Denham
Writers: Joshuah BearmanChris Terrio
Producers: Ben AffleckproducerChris Brighamexecutive producerChay Carterexecutive producerGeorge ClooneyproducerTim Headingtonexecutive producerGrant HeslovproducerGraham Kingexecutive producerDavid Klawansexecutive producerAlex Sutherlandline producer: TurkeyNina Wolarskyexecutive producer
Review (Might Contain Spoilers)
I was at the screening of Argo yesterday night. I had mixed feelings about the movie as its based on true events so you already know what was going to happen but was hoping that it would be like any other great event stories like Apollo 13 where you are just sucked into the movie with its amazing visual and dramatic approach. Well, this movie lives up to that expectations. Some even are saying it is Oscar worthy but i would not take it that far. One thing I would say though is Ben Affleck is now one of the great directors out there with Go Baby Go, The Town and now Argo on his resume that shines and is better than the ones he directed before.
The movie plot is events surrounding stranger than fiction rescue of 6 embassy workers during bigger 444 day hostage situation at US embassy in Iran during Iranian revolution. The movie begins on November 4, 1979, as US helped the escape of Shah who had ruled Iran ruthlessly to United States, the crowd was charged up and storms the embassy. In the midst of all the chaos, six embassy officials are able to escape out of the embassy and take refuge at Canadian Ambassador’s home. The Iranians do not know of the escape and keep all of the other hostages locked down in the embassy. As things start to move, CIA and State Department plan to move this hostages out of Iran, an exfiltration specialist, Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) is called in to consult with their plans. When most of the plans appear to be unrealistic, Tony comes up with larger than life escape plan of using fake sci-fi movie as pretext to move the hostages as the film crew who are scouting Iran is one of the probably filming sites. In an effort to make his mission more legitimate, he hires hollywood special effects man John Chamber (Josh Goodman) and producer Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin) to approve a script and give entire plan more credibility.
The plan if not true would sound really stupid for a movie but since it’s stranger than fiction real life true event story, the movie comes on top as a nail biting thriller where all of the events unfolding have purpose and keeps the audience glued to what is happening on the screen. Every moment, every note, every frame looks authentic with importance given to every minute details of the era. The movie just transfers you to that era with great picturization of places, events and elements.
The movie effortlessly transfers between Iran, CIA Headquarters and Hollywood as Tony Mendez, Lester Siegel and John Chambers try to co-ordinate the daring escape and over the top plan. Ben Affleck as main protagonist is natural in his element and directs himself really well. Alan Arkin and John Chambers provide comic relief and strong support to the movie. One of my favorite lines in the movie – Argo F*@k Yourself! as all three get ready to execute the mission. The six hostages portray flawlessly the seriousness and fear that the situation presents.
As the final chapter of the movie begins, you are almost at the edge of your seat trying to guess what is going the happen next, biting your nails as each scene passes and almost erupting into applause as the plane finally takes off and the hostages are out of danger. This reaction is testament to the direction of Ben Affleck as he still keeps the audience emotionally involved till the end of the movie.
My review for this movie: Edge-of-the-Seat Thrilling Ride!