Movie Review – Argo

This is one of the best edge-of-the-seat thriller of the year (Currently has an IMDB rating of 8.4, which will take it to the top 50 films of all times). Ben Affleck pulls off an outstanding performance as the actor and a director. It is a real life story of an attempt to rescue six US embassy staff caught up in Iran around the time Iranian revolution, while another 52 are being held hostage in the American embassy at the same time. The rescue plan hatched by CIA is totally outrageous, and there is almost no chance of it succeeding, but it is pitched as the “best bad plan” under the circumstances.

Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) lands in Iran in a hostile environment with most Iranians harbouring deep mistrust and hatred against the USA, and the revolutionary guards hunting down Americans and American sympathisers. And CIA is concerned that  to have their operatives caught inside Iran would be a massive embarrassment for the USA. Also a failure of the mission would mean death for all the hostages, and even for the Canadian ambassador and his wife who have have helped harbour the Americans. Just as Mendez is all set to roll out the escape plan, CIA gets cold feet and the whole plan is ordered to be shut down. He alone has to take a decision if he should still take-on the responsibility for the hostages and to help them or not (this part is apparently stretching the actual story a bit, but what the heck, it is all beautifully done).

Every element of this movie has been crafted to perfection – reproduction of actual events, the casting, the makeups (must see the closing credits for the references),  capturing the chaos of the revolution on-ground, and the whole feel of the 1970’s. Even the film processing gives it a 70s feel. The dialogues are sparkling (“If we wanted applause, we would have joined the circus” ) and keep you engaged. There aren’t many films where the audience break into spontaneous applause as the story unfolds. By the end you are emotionally invested in the outcome and Ben Affleck doest let go of you off the hook till the end.

Go watch… My rating – 9/10

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