Film Review: “Argo”

Film: Argo

Review: True stories always make for a great movie and this one did not disappoint. Argo is a real story about a “fake” movie. The film opens up with Iranian militants storming the U.S. Embassy in retaliation on America for allowing Shah (Iran’s King) to take protection on U.S. soil. During the chaos the U.S. diplomats slip out of the back door and take refuge at the house of the Canadian Ambassador for safety. Antonio Mendez played by Affleck is the CIA Agent who leads the mission to rescue the 6 U.S Dioplmats out of Iran. These 6 Americans are at the epicenter of the 1979 hostage situation in Tehran, Iran.  Mendez comes up with a very unique plan to get the diplomats out of Iran without tipping off the militants, disguise them (diplomats) as a Hollywood film crew. It was amazing to see the lengths the CIA took to ensure the Iranian government bought the “fake” movie story. Antonio had to convince John Chambers played by John Goodman to join his elaborate plan. Chambers was a famous hollywood make-up artist for film and TV during the 70’s. Alan Arkin who plays Lester Siegel also jumps on board as the “fake” Hollywood producer. Arkin also happened to be my favorite character in the entire film. His dry comedic humor is refreshing and keeps you laughing every time he comes on-screen. The film really packed a punch with the suspense! Are they going to escape, is someone going to snitch on them, will they get out of Iran safely? I thought my heart was going to fall out of my chest during the course of this film. Especially when the Americans were making their way through the Iranian airport.

The set and art direction for this film is brilliant. Often times I feel as though “period” films struggle to convince the audience of the past decade in the film. This was not the case with the Argo. The clothing, hair, geographic location, and props all felt very authentic to the late 1970’s era.

Argo is getting a lot of Oscar buzz and I can see why. From start to finish you are hooked on watching this film. It’s definitely worth checking out!

Best line in the Movie: “If I’m going to make a fake movie, it’s going to be a fake hit” – Lester Siegel