Argo- My Review (SPOILER ALERT)

Let me start by saying Argo is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. It was the potent combination of gripping drama, arresting story line and excellent performance.

We are in 1980 Iran, after the revolution and Iranians were filled with anger against US for sheltering their evil dictator. The Iranian student army wanted their dictator to be brought back to US and tried, and stormed the US army, taking hostages to blackmail the government. 6 of the staff escape by the back exit and take shelter in the Canadian embassy. The CIA is brought in to rescue the 6 escapees before the Iranians figure out they are missing. Tony Mendez, played by Ben Affleck, comes up with the idea that he will go to Iran as a sci-fi fantasy movie producer, scouting for locations and bring the escapees back as his crew. He works on making his film legit- he gets an office, script, director, costume designer, fake Canadian passport, even a trailer of the movie.  The rest of the movie is the nail biting drama of executing the plan in Iran.

The movie is based on a real rescue effort- nerd that I am, I tried comparing it with the real story. There were quiet a few inaccuracies- the role of Canada was trivialized, Tony really traveled with a fellow CIA agent, he received his Iranian visa in Germany not Turkey, the movie showed Tony separated from his wife but in reality his wife was the one who drove him to the airport, the airport escape was as smooth as silk in reality compared to the drama filled final scenes in the movie. When it was shown in Toronto film festival, Canadians criticized that the role of Ambassador Taylor in the escape was minimized, especially towards the end where it was stated that Canada was credited since the operation was classified. Personally, I believe it focused entirely on the rule of CIA, trivializing US’s mistake of supporting a sadistic and evil dictator, making that a 2 second introduction, and focused instead on the mob anger and violence- the mob had suffered decades of abuse, so their anger was justified.

But all the inaccuracies notwithstanding, Ben Affleck has directed an unforgettable movie, constantly moving and rarely predictable. The performance by each of the actors are incredible. Ben Affleck was amazing in movie, understated and brilliant as Tony Mendez!

Verdict: MUST SEE!

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2 comments on “Argo- My Review (SPOILER ALERT)

  1. Good review. Affleck’s direction worked and I like how he included so much detail and fun into the 70’s look, but the last act just didn’t have that suspense going for me as much as I would have liked. I think it sucks more just because you know what the true story is, and you sort of lose all of the tension this movie is striving for so much.

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