Argo(2012) is a movie directed by Oscar Winner Ben Affleck(Oscar for best writing,screenplay for Good Will Hunting shared with Matt Damon).This movie is based on real events : on a book ‘The Masters of disguise:My Secret life in the CIA” and the Wired article .
It showcases a rescue mission also know as Canadian Caper – a joint venture of CIA, Canadian government and Hollywood to rescue 6 American diplomats personnel out of Iran.This of-course is a dramatized version of the real story.
Argo is nominated for 7 Oscars :Best Writing:Screenplay,Sound Mixing,Editing,Music,Supporting Actor(Alan Arkin),Sound editing and Best Motion Picture.
Movie starts at US Embassy in Tehran (1979) and the anti-American protestors storming though the front gate.The officers present in office realizing it as a nightmare – decide to go out in groups and destroy all the papers,proofs at the office.
However few of them are captured and 6 of them escape and in their search for a hideout – they finally hide at the official residence of Canadian Ambassador.
CIA is ordered to get them out of Iran and Tony Mendez(Ben Affleck) is called upon.Now you would see that all the options for rescue are bad choices as all of them involve great risk.
After discussions they decide to choose “Best bad idea” and it is decided that with few trusted Hollywood contacts,one being make up artist John Chambers – Tony Mendez would enter Iran as an associate producer and then take the Americans out,disguising them as Canadian movie crew.
The movie would be like Star-Wars and when asked he would tell Irani officials that he is on a lookout for locations.
It is all set-up now and as a viewer you have only one thing in mind : can Ben Affleck as a director build up that tension and can he keep it interesting as well.
The answer is big YES – the movie nails it BIGTIME.The second half is brilliantly tense and would leave you breathless. The direction,the scenes,cinematography and music – all of them right on the money.
Not only this movie shows us what great film-making can do on-screen – it also shows if dramatized well even stories without action(like in usual action movies) can keep you glued to the screen.It captures thrillingly the mood,tension,suspicion and urgency of the situation.
Point to Note:
In the movie we are told: this story was classified and no one knew about it – however in 1997 President Bill Clinton de-classified it and Tony Mendez was given the Intelligence Star award yet again(initially he got the award in classified ceremony which again no one knew about)
Why Ben Affleck is not nominated as Best Director is still a mystery to me – but this movie is really a very strong contender to win best picture.Why , you might ask – because it is a story about fighting and surviving against all odds,it a story about winning in impossible situations and it also portrays Hollywood as a hero 🙂
Talking about the cast,music,cinematography – it is all very well done.
Argo is a shining example of amazing filmmaking and the power of painting a good story on-screen.
All and all – Well done Ben Affleck – you have earned the respect as a director(including your last two directed movies : Gone baby gone and The Town).May you win the Best Movie this year (with George Clooney).
Big thumbs up – do not miss this movie – watch it ahead of all the Oscar nominated movies.
Like the punchline in the movie : Argo **** yourself (used as a positive and funny punchline)
Movie Rating : 4.5/5
- Argo Wins Best Picture and Ben Affleck Wins Best Director at the Golden Globes (fletcherandco.com)
- Golden Globes 2013: ‘Argo,’ Ben Affleck’s Movie-That-Could, Wins Best Picture Drama (hollywood.com)
- Iran to make movie in response to “Argo” (edition.cnn.com)
- Fact or fiction? ‘Argo’ fuels Iran history debate (dawn.com)