On The Edge Films

Cinematic Thoughts for Cinematic Minds

Film of the Month: Argo

2012/ USA

Directed by: Ben Affleck

Starring: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arker, Victor Garber


Based on a true story, Argo, directed by Ben Affleck, is a must-see. It takes place during the Iranian revolution of 1979 and 1980 in Tehran. More than sixty Americans from the US embassy were held as hostages, but six of them escaped and were hiding out in the home of the Canadian ambassador (Garber). Tony Mendez (Affleck), a CIA extraction specialist, came along to concoct a plan to rescue these six Americans. The CIA works with some of Hollywood’s big names to create a fake film production to concoct a risky plan to try and get the six Americans out of the country.

This true, yet unbelievable story, is brilliantly told by powerful directing and flawless acting. Some knowledge of the Tehran hostage situation may be needed, but the film does everything to explain it, clearly and simply, meaning you can follow the story, and sit in the dark, not knowing what’s going on.

All people seem to remember him for, was his shocking performance in “Daredevil”, however, Affleck pulls off one of his best performances since “Goodwill Hunting”, and best directed piece since his ‘must-see-but-never-watched’ film “The Town”. His portrayal of CIA agent Mendez, is perfectly executed and not overdone. “Breaking Bad’s” very own Cranston works very well with Affleck, and he shows his acting range as he steps up to the plate in his role as CIA head of operation “Argo”.

No film is complete without the occasional comic relief, which is supplied by John Goodman and Alan Arker, who play the Hollywood duo, John Chambers, makeup artist and Lester Siegel, producer. The comedy works so well within the film, as it adds a relief to the tense moments that are current throughout the whole film.

The reason this film is so good, is the way it keeps the tension running throughout the entirety of it. Even though we know the outcome, we still wonder if they are going to be found out, and although the ending is very Hollywood-esque, it is a huge relief, and you begin to feel a sense of satisfaction wash over you at a job well done. It is also a brilliant depiction of what went on, and is not biased towards the Americans, giving a clear and reasonable depiction of the Iranians.

The all-star cast work so well together, and it is hard to single out the best male performance. It will definitely be on the radar for Oscars, not undeserving either, especially in the directing and acting department. The all-star cast work so well together, and it is hard to single out the best male performance.


-Zak Gibson


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