Movie Review: “Argo”
By: Ashley Weigel
On Nov. 4, 1979, Iranian students broke in and took over the American Embassy in Iran. Six employees snuck out the back, and were able to take refuge at the Canadian ambassador’s place. Argo tells the story about their miraculous rescue.
After the embassy was taken over, the CIA leaps into action, trying to come up with as many escape plans as possible. There were some ridiculous ones, probably a bit exaggerated for the movie, but none of them sounded like they could work in any way. Specialist Tony Mendez, played by Ben Affleck (“The Town”), finally comes up with a “just so crazy it might work” idea; go into Iran pretending to be looking for a location to film a movie, and say the six escapees are part of the crew.
Tony and his supervisor Jack O’Donnell (Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad”) set out to secure Hollywood men to help them create a fake movie. Who is crazy enough to help them out? Make-up artist John Chambers (John Goodman, “The Artist”) and producer Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin, “Edward Scissorhands”). They work as fast as possible and get Tony ready to head into Iran.
Tony arrives at the Canadian ambassador’s house, and it is obvious that he is not trusted by anyone in the room. Despite their doubts and fear, Tony gets the escapees to learn their secret identities forward and backwards. He trains them to be like operatives. While this is happening, the Iranian people are getting more and more fed up with America, and are becoming more violent.
A wrench is thrown into the works when Tony’s supervisor calls off the mission and orders him to return home. Determined to rescue these people, Tony decides to go through with the plan anyway, and some last minute calls and intense, nerve-wracking moments result in the escapees returning home safely.
This is a great movie, and what makes it even better is that it was based on a true story. As the director, Affleck did a great job giving the movie an older feel too, as the screen was grainy and not in high definition color. It was refreshing to see a movie that was not made just for the explosions or the drama. It was about telling a story from our country’s history, even if it was not 100% accurate. I particularly liked that they chose to blend some real video footage from the hostage crisis with the movie shots, adding to the realism of the film. It was also surprisingly funny, especially when they were discussing the original, ridiculous plans to get the escapees out of Iran. Overall, Argo was a well-written and really well performed film, and I am definitely planning to buy the DVD when it comes out.