Words by Anna Parker
It’s easy to cringe at the idea of a Ben Affleck film, after all he’s been involved in some shockers, but it’s worth remembering that Affleck is an Oscar winner and with ‘Argo’, he proves himself as a talented actor and director.
The film is based on the true story by a former CIA operative called Tony Mendez (Affleck) about the Iran hostage crisis where six US diplomats were rescued from Tehran in 1979.
One of the great strengths of the film is the narrative story which manages to maintain tension and suspense throughout, this is definitely not a film you can get bored with. Affleck, for his part, is unrecognisable, his pretty-boy good looks giving way to a beard and his performance is understated yet intense.
Needless to say the film builds up to a climax which will leave you biting your nails and the journey there is thoroughly enjoyable. If you’re Canadian you might take exceptions (as some critics) have to the lack of credit given to the Canadians of their role during the negotiations.
However as with many films, the director has focused more on audience entertainment than a historical account of the facts, hence why the description notes it’s based ‘loosely’ on Mendez’s account.
This may come in handy for people not old enough to remember this crisis, as no prior knowledge is assumed, so if you’re looking for a thriller that doesn’t skimp on characterisation in favour of action, then ‘Argo’ is for you.