Argo (2012) is a film directed by Ben Affleck (Gone Baby Gone, The Town) based around a CIA operation to free six US diplomats in Iran. The film follows Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) as he attempts to carry out an ambitious plan to free the Americans by pretending to make a film.
Ben Affleck carries on his surprising form as a director and manages to craft a film that is both thrilling and politically complex. Similarly to Gone Baby Gone, Argo exceeds at not only telling a story through the character’s actions and dialogue but through the setting as well. The streets of Iran are buzzing and danger feels present around every corner. The country is restless. Political messages are plastered around the city, armed men walk the streets and death awaits anyone not willing to conform.
Although the story is at times quite absurd, Affleck manages to keep the film feeling realistic which is largely due to the research done in creating imagery within the film that reflects the events that happened in Iran. This is evident in the end credits where photographs taken at the time are compared to different frames from the film. The performances are all satisfactory with Alan Arkin and John Goodman adding a welcome touch of humour to the film.
Setting the scene.
The pace of the film is fast so you’re constantly gripped to the storyline. The sound is powerful, the production design is complimentary and the cinematography helps to set the era wonderfully.
It’s been years since I’ve seen a thriller so masterfully well done. Affleck has proven himself as a competent director before this film but now he has shown that he is a master.