Film
“Argo” A Cinematic Masterpiece
By LaDale Anderson
Oct 31, 2012 - 8:54:20 PM

HOLLYWOOD—There is a reason Ben Affleck’s thriller “Argo” is reigning supreme at the box-office.  It’s what a movie buff treasures when it comes to film.  The picture is mesmerizing, smart, exhilarating, it has sensational acting and exciting camera work.

 

Affleck stars as CIA specialist Tony Mendez who is asked to consult with the government on ways to infiltrate Iran to rescue the U.S. embassy members.  Mendez develops a clever tactic that involves manifesting an elaborate scheme that involves Canadian filmmakers scouring distinct locations for a film shoot.  The idea behind the picture is quite extravagant to say the least.  The audience is introduced to the inner workings of cinema, which for the most part goes unnoticed. 

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John Goodman, Alan Arkin and Ben Affleck in "Argo."

 

“Argo” is an intricate piece of cinema.  Not just from the props being used, but the people involved in the escape scheme.  John Goodman portrays John Chambers, a Hollywood make-up artist who has worked on countless disguises in the past for the CIA.  Alan Arkin is film producer Lester Siegel who helps produce a film studio to assist with Mendez’s cause. Affleck delivers exceptional work both in front and behind the camera for the film.  His character Mendez is poised throughout the picture, even in moments where things seem dire. 

 

Audiences coming into the theater should expect a level of suspense that is so invigorating even though it’s obvious how the picture will end it’s a treat to watch everything unfold on the big screen. Goodman, Arkin and Cranston immerse themselves in the characters they portray.  There is realism to “Argo” even though the spectator is well aware it’s all a hoax.  The movie is based loosely on the 1979 Iran hostage crisis.

 

It’s difficult to tackle a film where much of the action takes place in Iran; which is a touchy subject for many Americans, yet Affleck handles the narrative with such precision and delicacy that it works on all levels.  The narrative of the picture has a steady pace throughout, now there are quite a few characters that come and go in the movie. That could leave spectators asking what why introduce a character for such a minor part. That character drives the narrative of the picture.  “Argo” is that rare gem of a movie that excels at doing what cinema should do: entertain and educate the audience.  It’s enriching, suspenseful and delivers sensational performances to talk about for days. For those who have yet to see the picture, what are you waiting for; “Argo” is a must-see.



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