Thoughts: AaaaaRGO Watch the movie!

Alright, who’s next? Who else doesn’t like Ben Affleck.

I have always stated that writers make absolutely terrific directors and Ben Affleck is the face of my argument. Gone Baby Gone, The Town, Chasing Amy, Good Will Hunting (obviously I won’t miss that) and now Argo. (If any one of you talk about Pearl Harbor as a “good” movie, then you obviously do not have a clue about what I am talking and do not need to read further)

Argo is one of Affleck’s finest works and is definitely Oscar material. The story is incredibly true and the fact that it is so unbelievable makes it all the more watchable.

In 1980, the American embassy in Iran was invaded by Iranian revolutionaries and around 52 odd Americans working there were taken hostage (they were kept in capture for a period of 444 days). Six though, somehow managed to escape and took refuge in the residence of the Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor (played by the very talented Victor Garber). These six are now in a race against time to get out of the country since the revolutionaries are now slowly putting back together all the shredded documents and it would soon be clear to them that there are six missing and how do they look. Thus the CIA is ordered to get them out of the country (no mean feat).

With barely any feasible options, exfil expert Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) devises the plan of the century. “To create a fake Canadian film project who are looking to shoot a science fiction film called Argo in Iran and grab the Americans out of the country under the pretext of them being part of the production crew”.

Does  that sound crazy? Well it absolutely was and Tony Mendez said that it could be done. The White House doubts him, his six Americans doubt him, and the with Iranian security forces closing in (and you do NOT want to be caught by those guys) their time is running out and Tony Mendez is up against a brick wall. (At the risk of spoiling the ending I shan’t give away more). All you need to know is that you have to watch the movie.

For those of you less familiar with the whole history, you needn’t worry as the (wonderfully shot) opening scene of the movie clears up the story and sets the tone perfectly. The dialogues are witty and keep you entertained and the time the climax is a gripping.

The movie is wacky enough and is as real as it is unbelievable. I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up with a few nominations for Best Picture, Best Director and Alan Arkin definitely deserves his due in this movie, hopefully a Best Supporting Actor nominee. The biggest treat in the movie is the brilliant acting by him and John Goodman. The cast of veteran character-actors is worth the price of admission alone. Nearly every speaking role is occupied by a recognizable face, with the likes of Philip Baker Hall, Bob Gunton, Michael Parks, Kyle Chandler, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, and more. This is easily the best cast of 2012 and, better yet, they all brought out there “A” game.

Every note, every frame, every scene of Argo looks authentic. Affleck, who received incredible support for his last directorial effort (The Town), has upped the ante and films Argo with the confidence of a maestro at the top of his game. For a story so heavy, intriguing and dire, Affleck manages to keep it nice and light and even humorous at times. Form the streets of Iran to the offices in Langley, the movie transcends geographies seamlessly and you remain fixated to the edge of your seat.

Argo is sensational as a film directed by Ben Affleck and is everything a movie should be: a great story, compelling drama and light hearted humour. Thankfully I am now certain that Affleck can make bigger films than just Boston crime dramas. His strength in direction remains in his ability to bring an edgy nervous tension to the screen, something that would makes your palms sweat and yet you sit with ease in your chair.

Argo is simply a classic.



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