In 1979, one event caused our whole country to fall silent. This event was known as The Iranian Hostage Crisis. When 52 American diplomats were taken hostage by a group of Iranian militants and students. This uprising was in support of the Iranian revolution and in response to the United State’s harboring of the Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. At 6:30 in the morning, on November 4th, 1979, the hostage takeover took place.
Somewhere between 300 and 500 Iranian citizens stormed the gates of the US Embassy. During the all the confusion, six Embassy personnel were able to escape out the back. These six were given protection by the Canadian Prime Minister at his home, near to the Embassy. They stayed hidden there for more than three months, while the news of the events of November 4th circled the globe.
Hearing of this, the CIA formed a plan. A ruse designed to sneak the six Americans out of the country under the guise of a Canadian Film Crew shooting on location in Tehran. The plan was devised by Tony Mendez, the CIA’s head exfiltration expert. With the help of contacts in Hollywood, the plan goes off without a hitch and Tony Mendez brings the six escaped American home himself. Details of this event were kept secret, until now.
In Ben Affleck’s new film “Argo”, he dramatizes these events masterfully. This isn’t the first film Affleck’s both directed and starred in; hopefully it won’t be the last either. The actors skills as an auteur haven’t lessened since his last film “The Town”, in fact they’ve only gotten better. Affleck brings an intense attention to detail to the events being depicted on screen. Anything less and this film would have been a disgrace.
It won’t be hard to see “Argo” on the Oscar listing sheet for next year. Affleck’s films have always garnered Oscar buzz and he’s only made three of them. I believe that says something for his talent as a director. Affleck’s acting career has been no stranger to criticism.This can be said about all actors however. Affleck’s acting in “Argo” is well done and achieves a stand-out performance beside the rest of the film’s phenomenal cast.
There are some big names in this movie. To name a few, you’ve got: John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston, and even some faces that haven’t been seen in awhile. It was a pleasant sight to see Clea DuVall and Christopher Denham who play Cora and Mark Lijek; two of the six American escapees.
There is a lot of fine acting contained within “Argo” and even some comedic moments. However, the main draw for this film should and always will be the heroic story. One man put his life and the lives of six people he had never even met at fatal risk in order to save them. This was perhaps the crowning moment of Tony Medez’s career and when he returned home he couldn’t tell anyone about it.
“Argo” is just another example of what movies can be when they’re at their best. It shows us that you can have entertaining moments in a story and not have them be in the expense of the movie itself. This film has a story to tell and to miss it would be a crime.