Thursday, 25 October 2012
Ben Affleck might be zilch when it comes to acting, but he’s turned out to be a capable director. Argo, his third directorial venture, is a tense, gripping, highly engaging, surprisingly intelligent and competently made escape thriller. Right at the beginning of the film the audience is provided with a brief background about contemporary political history of Iran, the destructive role played by the US in the socio-political explosion that inevitably followed, and the ensuing chaos and anarchy upon the sudden change of order. Done with the context setting, we are thrown right in the middle of the Iranian Revolution, with the US embassy in Tehran taken hostage by a fanatic mob. Six members of the embassy, however, manage to surreptitiously escape and take refuge in the Canadian embassy. The film, therefore, is, in essence, how Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck), a typically laconic and highly skilled CIA agent, hatches a fantastical escape plan for them, and then working outside the system, converts his plan into reality. Affleck showed good eyes for details as he recreated a sensational event from not so long back. But more importantly, he was smart enough not to delve into the politics, as well as in terms of knowing his limitations as a filmmaker. His objective here was simple – just to tell a darn good story – and he succeeded by providing us with an intermittently humorous, excellently paced and relentlessly suspenseful film. It also boasts of fine turns by Alan Arkin and John Goodman as two key members of the plan – the wisecracks of Arkin, in particular, were riotously funny.
Director: Ben Affleck
Genre: Thriller/Political Thriller/Escape Film/Docu-Fiction