Argo (Affleck, 2012)

Argo poster

“The whole country is watching you, they just don’t know it.” Most often films based on real-life events tend to be uneventful and doesn’t actually follow the events that have occurred. Not Argo. Argo stands alone in achieving an experience that follows you in your mind even after you have left the cinema. A mixture of silent, action, nail-baiting scenes about the ‘Iran Hostage Crisis’ in 1979 leaves you amazed at what you are viewing. The main feature is not that Ben Affleck (playing Tony Mendez) is a superb actor and suits the role perfectly, but that he is also the director. It’s always hard for the actor to reverse roles behind the camera but for Affleck, he seems to flow between the two like he was born to do it, maybe following in the footsteps of Clint Eastwood.

Interrogation

Interrogation

“If I’m going to make a fake movie, it’s going to be a fake hit.” Even though the atmosphere throughout the film is gritty, dark, and tense; whenever you see Lester Siegel (played by Alan Arkin) and John Chambers (played by John Goodman), a laugh is always guaranteed. The two work together so well to input a bit of humour in the dire situation that is occurring. Their take on Hollywood is so close to the truth that you just can’t help and laugh with them. Then you can’t help and sigh alongside everyone else in the cinema at some of the suggestions that come out of the American Governments mouths to try and help the crisis that is happening. Mix that with diegetic & non-diegetic sounds, the use of dialogue, the certain shots used (at points, the reaction shots fit perfectly alongside the script) and an amazing film is born. There is no need for a man to cry in Argo. The film is so tensely wired that in the last couple of minutes you cannot help but to let a tear escape by the performances by the whole cast and the accompanied soundtrack.

Learning lines

Learning lines

“This is the best bad plan we’ve had… by far, Sir.” Personally, Argo is a film to watch when you want to do a bit of learning while enjoying it at the same time. Watching the film with your mind set not to enjoy it as the setting is in Iran and thinking that the film will be a waste of time, which will soon change. From the trailer it seems like it’s another typical Hollywood version of events but after watching Argo, you realize what the hype was about and how wrong you were. A combination of hard hitting scenes and getting to know Tony Mendez (played by Ben Affleck) personal life injects life throughout the whole film. Every audience member secretly wants to know more personal information about Mendez as the realer the character seems, the attachment grows stronger and makes the acting more convincing. Any film that leaves a lasting impression on me is seen to be a ‘good’ film. The right amount of tension left me grabbing the hand of the person sitting next to me and wishing that everything would go as planned. The 70’s vibe and the saturated colours also is a huge bonus to Affleck directing as it makes the whole film more realistic, sets the scene so the viewer can distinctly imagine what are going on at that moment in time.

“Argo” is not your typically history/drama film but an explosive 120 minutes in which your emotions are ever changing. “Argo f*** yourself!” will forever be on people minds when the word Argo is mentioned. Plus how many awards it will win.