Film Critique – Argo Essay

Published: 2021-07-31 10:40:07
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Category: Film

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After “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Town,” it is to no surprise that the movie “Argo” is an astonishing thriller. Ben Affleck recreates the historical tragedy, a now-declassified operation, giving credit to those who risked everything. The film is a work of magic as it ties together humor, suspense, and intrinsic drama. During an Iranian hostage crisis, CIA officials must concoct a scheme to release Americans from the hostile environment that is Tehran. Argo will keep you guessing on which life or death decisions will be made next. To begin the movie, over fifty Americans in a U. S. Embassy are bombarded by protesting Iranian revolutionaries in 1979. In the midst of all the chaos, six of them manage to escape the horror, taking shelter in the nearby home of the Canadian ambassador.
As the days pass, the CIA is responsible for bringing home all those in danger, and time is running dangerously low. This film recreates the process that real-life figure Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) and the six escapees go through to bring home their fellow Americans. After multiple unsuccessful ideas, Mendez generates a perilous idea of making a fake movie. This is the best bad idea we have” says Jack O’Donnell (Bryan Cranston) to the CIA director. They will justify their presence in Iran by saying they are scouting movie locations. With the help of two Hollywood figures, Lester and John, they devise a script for their fake movie, Argo. The movie is constructed within days after the ‘go ahead’. Mendez struggles to persuade the six escapees to purposely put themselves through a dangerous mission, but they have no choice. They are soon to be discovered by the Iranians and cannot stay in the ambassadors home much longer. After agreeing, they are assigned new identities.
They take on the roles of Canadian filmmakers, memorizing completely new lives for themselves. Terrified yet determined, the seven Americans risk everything. Their lives lie within the decisions of Tony Mendez. You can see the fear in their eyes, feel the beats of their hearts, and hear the quiver in their voices. The six escapees turned themselves into their characters. Not only were they visually identical to the person they were playing, but emotionally as well. Without a doubt, we can understand the thoughts and feelings running through each of the characters minds.
We felt the pain in their hardships and the joy in their triumphs. I do not believe there is a group of individuals that could better fit the part than the six casted. It’s Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin) and John Chambers (John Goodman) that lighten the mood of this serious storyline. They help the movie by adding humor with their typical Hollywood egos. Often stealing the spotlight with his comedic personality, Arkin’s sarcastic doubt about “ the Brady Bunch out of the most watched city in the world” makes us all realize how crazy this idea really is.
But the two work together to enhance their comical impact on the nerve-wracking subject. Tony Mendez’s personality may be thought of as boring or dull, but Affleck gives life to a serious man. As leader of this mission, it is his duty to keep himself and everyone else calm in stressful situations. Affleck has a deep understanding of the storyline and the real life figures that are apart of this operation. He acts exactly how I would imagine Tony Mendez acted during this event in 1979. As not only the star, but the director as well, Affleck makes the movie nothing less than perfect.
I admire that he did not demonize the Iranian revolutionists. This movie was not about belittling their country, but celebrating our own. He obtains credibility with his good moral and appropriate choices of content. There is no disappointment from any angle of his movie or his character. It is easy for motion picture directors to take real life scenarios and alter them to be more exhilarating or entertaining for business purposes. However, that is not what Ben Affleck did in Argo. It was unnecessary to include extraneous scenes or dialogue because the true story was suspenseful within itself.
The precision is exhibited seamlessly throughout the entire movie. He sculpted the film to be identical to true incidents and recreated exact scenes and characters to give the audience a full understanding of this operation. Not only was the dialogue content precise, but also the visual content as well. While focusing on the small details like costumes and props, Affleck incorporates everything 70’s, but in a subtle way. It was not distracting or misleading, only helpful to the movie’s plot. It seems as if the mission was being filmed as it was happening.
To prove the movie’s accuracy, throughout the movie and in the credits, they display actual footage and images from 1979 along with their recreation. Although it’s about a fake film, it is a real story displayed miraculously. Not only is this movie entertaining, but it is an important part in our history. This throwback in time was conceived from Affleck’s inspiring desire to tell an important story. With the strong plot, believable acting, and effective content, this movie is a must see. I would rate this movie with four stars.

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