Friday, October 26, 2012

Argo: Movie Review

Marriage of history and entertainment as Argo becomes a run-away hit.

“Argo” starts with the history of the Iran hostage crisis of 1979 when Islamist students and militants stormed the American Embassy in Tehran and 6 American diplomats escaped with their lives and found temporary salvation in the home of the Canadian Ambassador. It was enough history to educate us but not too much to lose viewer’s interest. Like most stories, things start getting entertaining when the film moves to Hollywood. 2012

Directed by: Ben Affleck

Screenplay by: Chris Terrio
Based on an article and book.

Starring: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston

To rescue the 6 trapped Americans, the CIA is going to make a fake movie set in Iran. At this point we get the comedy. Alan Arkin and John Goodman make jokes about the state of Hollywood; Bryan Cranston ensures us that “This is the best bad idea we’ve got, sir.” Once the history is out of the way and the film has us laughing, then Ben Affleck as both lead actor and director lead us into thriller territory.

The editing in the final stretches of the film, while veering away from reality, make us question everything we thought we knew about the event and keeps white knuckles gripped to the theatre seats as “Argo” becomes a heart-wrenching thriller. Each beat of the score matches each step down the run-way which matches our heart beats in a cinematic marriage of history and entertainment. It is not surprising that Argo quickly became a box-office hit, a critical darling and an awards season favourite.

The Canadian Ambassador at the time complained that Canadians weren’t given enough recognition for their role. While some American viewers complained that Canadians got too much credit. Why can’t we all just agree and say “Argo” was almost perfect?