“Argo”–An Argonaut for Our Time
Although this movie is nominated for eight Academy Awards and won several Golden Globes (including Best Motion Picture in Drama and Best Director), it has not received the traction or box office success that it so richly deserves. With Ben Affleck’s masterful direction, production and acting in “Argo” the studio and distributor have decided to re-release this film after the Academy Awards.
Based on a 1979 historical event at the American embassy in Tehran, six American employees manage to escape and seek protection at the nearby Canadian embassy immediately prior to the storming of the US embassy by Iranian revolutionaries., “Argo” kicks into high gear once Affleck lands in Iran. Affleck, on the other hand, is incredibly sympathetic, and it’s fear for him that drives the emotional energy of the narrative. With few options, CIA technical operations expert Tony Mendez devises a daring plan: to simulate producing a Canadian sci-fi film –preposterously far-fetched– on location in Tehran in order to smuggle the Americans out as its production crew. With the help of some Hollywood industry contacts, Mendez flies to Iran as the film’s associate producer. However, time is running out. Iranian security forces are zeroing in on the truth while both the Americans-in-hiding and the White House have serious doubts about the operation’s viability.
The story is intense and suspenseful, even though the viewer knows the outcome. Crackling with energy and determination to outsmart the Iranian revolutionaries, “Argo” captures the mood of our country. Affleck plays the quintessential American hero, confident to a fault, who will do anything to protect those he is responsible for–and it is our fear for him that drives the emotional content of the film.