The story of Argo is a dramatic retelling of the joint operation by the CIA and Canada to rescue 6 Americans from rebels in Iran. The movie was directed by Ben Affleck who not only stars in it himself but continues to shine as a Director.
The brilliance of Argo did not really hit me until about 30 minutes towards the end when I realized that I actually gave a damn about the people involved. Not only did Ben Affleck find actors who favored the original 6 hostages in the 1980 fallout with Iran, but he replicated the very look and feel of the period masterfully.
To watch Argo is to literally step into a time-warp and watch one of the CIA’s best agents do his thing in a hostile and unfamiliar country. The cinematography, acting, and direction was top-notch and the only downside for me was Affleck himself who played Tony Mendez, the CIA agent. The reason I pick on Affleck is due to his familiar face making it hard to accept Mendez as himself instead of “Ben Affleck playing Mendez”… a familiar complaint with Affleck’s characters no doubt. It would have done much better to cast someone unknown in the role.
I really loved the way how Argo began with the explanation of the situation, the history that led up to the time of the movie and why Iran was angry with the United States. We got a good mix of positive Iranians along with the negative in order to humanize the “bad guys” unlike other movies who aim to make the villains all evil.
There is some comedy relief amongst the serious tension of the times provided by John Goodman as John Chambers. This was an all-around great movie and one that everyone should see in order to get some perspective of real CIA work being played out. It was the ending line of images that struck home for me however as we get a slideshow of the real players alongside the actors who portrayed them… It was surreal.
Make sure you check out Argo as soon as you are able to as it is bound to become one of the best period pictures ever developed in terms of look and feel.