I’ve always been a fan of movies based off of a true story. It adds a certain sense of realism and weight to everything that happens in the film, and makes it that much more engrossing. However, it seems that a lot of the time the story is so dramatized that it loses that special quality.
After finally having the chance to see Argo, I can very happily say that that is not the case here.
Taking place in 1979, Argo is the story of six Americans that escape a raid on the US Embassy in Tehran, and are left stranded in a country that wants them dead. I’ll keep the story synopsis down to a minimum, as seeing the events leading up to the film in the beginning is quite the sight to behold.
One of this films greatest strengths is the way it’s presented. The dialogue is crisp and witty, the cinematography is subtly intense and not over-bearing, the actors are all fantastic, and the pace is superb. Argo is a film that has a lot going for it, and it somehow it manages to deliver on nearly every front.
Ben Affleck directs, co-produces, and stars in Argo; which is quite the accomplishment. I’m not sure how he did it, but Affleck both captures the intensity and mood of every shot perfectly, but is also brilliant as CIA specialist Tony Mendez. You relate to his character right off-the-bat, and genuinely want to know how his story unfolds.
This was one of those rare time where I nearly forgot I was watching a movie, and great praise does to Affleck for capturing all the little thing that portray the tension that flows throughout the film’s perfect two-hour running time.
As a disclaimer, I don’t know all the details on the story being told in Argo outside of a brief understand of the time it takes place in. With that in mind, the film’s message still came across crystal clear, and although I didn’t know the nitty-gritty details of what was transpiring in Tehran, the story still intrigued me and kept me wholly enthralled from beginning to end.
Argo does something truly great with its story. It both portrays a true-story greatly, but also tells a tale filled with intrigue, intensity, and excitement. Argo really is truly a film anyone can enjoy and has something for everyone.
Part of the reason this film succeeds so well is because of its amazing actors. Every character, no matter how minor, is given life through the actors and you really buy into the emotions going through the minds of the characters; especially the six Americans in hiding.
It also doesn’t hurt that the dialogue is incredible. It’s not often that the dialogue in a film wows me as much as Argo did. Every line comes across clean, and a joke never falls flat. For a film that relies heavily on its characters and the spoken dialogue, it was very important to nail this; and Argo did so magnificently.
Even with a story so intense, Argo is genuinely hilarious at time. The scenes between Affleck, Arkin, and Goodman are immensely fun to watch, and help take the edge off of the grittiness in the plot.
I greatly enjoyed Argo, but there were some aspects that bugged me a bit. The major one is a matter of personal opinion, and it would be the amount of swearing. I understand the movie is rated R, and I walked into the theater expecting a lot of cursing.
With that said, I still don’t think it’s necessary to include so much harsh language; there are other ways to get your point across.With the exception of one hilarious catch phrase, there were almost always times when the curse words could’ve been replaced.
Overall, I loved Argo. It’s one of the best movies I’ve seen in awhile, and delivers on everything it promises. I highly recommend seeing it in the theater while you still can, or renting it when it comes out, as it truly is a great film. Just don’t bring your kids.