This review was first published on October 13, 2012 in Cinematic Impact.
The very world that we live in, besides its sheer beauty and mysteries, is far more frightening than any other planet or star in the universe in my opinion. This very notion that my mind is occupied with, when it comes to the thinking of the situation that this world is in, is something that Mr. Ben Affleck, the director/actor of ‘Argo’ might nod as an agreement with me if I get the opportunity to speak with him. On the surface, Mr. Affleck’s film is a 70s political-espionage thriller, but once seen, the film goes deep in the dark souls of men; a place that not even Satan wants to find himself. This film, in my opinion, is quite important, probably one of the most important films of the year, yet daring one as well. The situation in Iran during 1979, those dark days are unfortunately still with us.
As far as the mind think about these dark days, captured precisely in the film, and written on paper delicately with much care by screenwriter, Chris Terrio, makes one think immediately that nothing has changed. What one might find interesting from this film is that there is hatred and a line of difference that Argo is defining for us, the difference that you think you-are-you and I am-Me, I blame you and that gives me the right to spit on you. Come and grab you and display your corpse to the world, for I am-Me after all. Your generation, your race, your citizenship does not matter to me, for my mind is angry and my soul has turned dark. But, Argo asks one question, an essential one, when this hatred among man will end?
Once you swim back up on the surface, Mr. Affleck’s Argo entertains the heart and mind; it’s warm and quite bright. Intelligent at all times, and humorous as well respectively, here Mr. Affleck shows his directing talent; he has exercised his mind and directing prowess. With Argo, I believe he has the right to flex his muscles as a true film-maker. Hesitant everyone was, when he commenced taking of Dennis Lehane’s novel, Gone Baby Gone and proved everyone wrong, when his hardcore crime drama, The Town surfaced. Two home runs back to back, and now safely, we can say that with Argo, it is three home runs back to back. Stepping as an actor in front of his own camera the second time, Mr. Affleck has shown himself that he can be serious as an actor as much as a director. Sporting in 70s style hair-cut and suit, he limns the character of Tony Mendez intelligently, and proves that this agent, was no 007 and with no single gadget, flies to Tehran to rescue six Americans from the anger and grip of the Iranian Revolution. And, yes, with a little, yet daring help from Hollywood.
Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) is CIA’s top man, an expert indeed in exfiltration and now, he takes on the responsibility to rescue Six Americans from a hostile environment. While everyone on the table is throwing ideas, Tony puts his insight, but when asked in the end, if he has a better idea. Tony simply looks down and says that he doesn’t. But, he does, though, when he gets an idea while he is watching “Battle of the Planet of Apes”. From here Mr. Affleck as a director takes the audience from getting prepared and then finally lands in Iran and introduces himself to the Six Americans, (Scoot McNairy Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall, Rory Cochrane, Christopher Denham, Kerry Bishe) who are sheltering at the Canadian Ambassador’s house in Tehran. With compelling performances and Mr. Terrio’s convincing story-telling and dialogues, Mr. Affleck as a true auteur takes you on a journey, where you will feel like your heart is knocking against your chest.
Argo is not only a correct film in terms of powerful story-telling, performances, directing, cinematography, costumes, locations, but quite an entertaining one as well, besides being striking, bold, genius, edge-of-your-seat thriller that will make your palms sweat. Cinematographer, Rodrigo Prieto’s camera work, is sharp, bright that rhymes with Terrio’s scenes and Affleck’s vision. Once one walks out with smile, which I am sure that you will, the mind is thinking what to say and what not. All I said was, “Argo” Fuck Yourself.
Argo is now available on Blu-ray/DVD.
Author I Rohan Mohmand I Founder & Editor in Chief I A film enthusiast, screenwriter and a news reporter at Mnightfans.com. He’s also the co-founder of Robopocalypsemovienews.com, who writes a column on film at Cinematicimpact.com as well.