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ARGO (2012) Starring:  Ben Affleck, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston,  Alan Arkin, Kyle Chandler

Argo directed by and starring Ben Affleck retells the true story of the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis where 52 Americans were captured and held hostage for 444 days during a raid on the American embassy in Tehran by a group of Iranian students and militants. During the raid on the American embassy 6 Americans were able to avoid capture and escape the embassy building seeking refuge at the home of the Canadian ambassador in Iran.  Argo focuses on the plan by the CIA to exfiltrate this group of six Americans from Iran by creating an elaborate cover for them as a Hollywood movie crew on location. Ben Affleck portrays Tony Mendez the CIA agent who in 1979 successfully organized this operation to get this group of Americans that came to be known as “the six” safely out of Iran.  Argo reviews are pouring in and the movie is a favorite for best picture at the academy awards on February, 24th 2013 despite Affleck being snubbed for a nomination for best director. This is a shame, as it is the direction of this movie that is able to capture the American sentiment and urgency by it’s painstaking attention to detail and use of imagery in it’s depiction of the late 1970’s and the amazing plan to rescue the six from this crisis. Being that Hollywood itself was involved in the rescue effort in this story, the movie also carries a theme that explores how the ideas, dreams, and make believe of movies and telvision can sometimes affect reality. This too is a reason Why I feel that Affleck’s direction makes this movie great. You get the feel of the 1970’s right from the beginning of the film when the old Warner Brothers logo is used to introduce the movie. The strain between Iran and the United States is also evident early on as the film shows the anger of the Iranian people in reponse to President Carter allowing safe haven in the United States to the Iranian dictator, the Shah. The image of a burning American flag is seen during a stunning recreation of the raid on the embassy building. Grainy video and evening news clips with Tom Brokaw and Tedd Koppel also brings the viewer back to the time when this event actually happened. John Goodman gives a great performance as John Chambers the Hollywood makeup artist Who helped Tony Mendez put together the movie production cover story for the six. A notable shot of the dilapitated hollywood sign is used as imagery to show the fragile state of the American dream in the late 70’s as a result of Vietnam, Watergate, and now the Iran hostage crisis. Goodman’s Character is also used to ask if what we see on the news is sometimes just for the cameras or is it real?  When the story shifts to shots in Iran and the dilemma of helping the six get out of the country multiple images of the Ayatollah Khomeini are shown as an ever watching presence of the Iranian goverment giving the characters and the viewer a sense of anxiety of the life and death scenario they face if they were to be caught attempting to escape the country. In the pivotal scene of the movie the audience can see the power in the blurred line between hollywood imagination and our reality as the cover of a fake science fiction movie is used to aide in the efforts to rescue the charactes from a real life foreighn policy crisis. The events of this movie were classified by the government until this status was removed in 1997 by president clinton. The story is told by Tony Mendez himself in his book Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History. Not suprisingly the film is being banned in Iran. This movie was great in my opinion more for the cinematography, imagery, and stroytelling than anything else. After seeing it a couple times I would be dissapointed if it did not win best picture at the Oscars. The secretive nature of this story really makes you wonder how many more like it are out there that we just don’t know about?

My recommendation: Go See it!

Use the stars below to rank your reccomendation of the film or leave a comment for other readers below to give your Argo reviews.

Rating 3.50 out of 5
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2 Responses to Argo Reviews

  1. kamukamo.com says:

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    • Avatar of Eric Gahagan Eric Gahagan says:

      Thank you for reading my post and dropping a comment. I checked out your site and your news articles are really good. I also like the layout of your website. Feel free to continue putting a link in any comments you leave on NewsMicks. I’d also be interested in some guest posts. Register for NewsMicks social network features and friend request me on the sidebar under find NewsMicks Friends. Thanks Eric Gahagan

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