Cast: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman and Alan Arkin
Director: Ben Affleck
Producer: Ben Affleck, George Clooney and Grant Heslov
Few days after it won the Best Picture at the 85th Academy Awards, Ben Affleck’s Argo is now out on DVD. The edge of the seat, thrilling drama set during the Iranian revolution in the early 80’s and inspired by true events is a master-piece that shouldn’t be missed.
The film opens in 1979 when Iranian revolution is at its peak and a mob of revolutionaries attack the American embassy in Iran. Over 50 people are taken hostage by the mob who demands the release of their former oppressive ruler- the Shah- who is now taking refuge in USA. However 6 Americans working in the embassy manage to sneak out of the back door exit and take refuge in the house of Canadian ambassador.
Ben Affleck plays CIA agent Tony Mendez, an ex-fil expert, who is assigned the task of getting those 6 Americans safely out of Iran. Mendez comes up with a rather outrageous plan of posing as a fake movie crew who are out to scout for locations for filming in Iran. Mendez takes the help of Hollywood’s most famous make-up artist John Chambers (John Goodman) and once he is sold on the idea, the duo convince veteran producer Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin) to come on board as a fake producer for their make-believe sci-fi fantasy film Argo. How Mendez pulls off this rather never seen before rescue act forms the crux of the film.
Affleck excels not only as an actor delivering a mature and restrained performance but also as the director of this brilliant film. It’s a pity and shame that the Academy didn’t consider him worthy of a nomination in the Best Director category. Right from the opening sequence where the mob takes control of the American embassy till the end credits, the film has you gripped. The last 20 minutes of the film are among the best you would have ever seen leaving you on the edge of your seats wondering what’s gonnna happen next.
Affleck also manages to extract superb performances from all the cast members. Bryan Cranston is superb as Mendez’ senior Jack O’ Donnel. Both John Goodman and Alan Arkin are outstanding providing some comic relief in this otherwise serious drama. Arkin has some of the best lines in the film. The actors playing the role of the 6 Americans who take refuge in the Canadian ambassador’s house are perfectly cast and do complete justice to their characters.
Also kudos to Affleck and his team for being able to re-create the 1980’s era with such detail. Right from the costumes, to the hair-styles to the locations, everything is bang on.
The film’s duration is 128 minutes
Rescue From Tehran: We Were There – This 20 minute special presentation features exclusive interviews with the actual 6 people who were rescued by Tony Mendez. The section also has interviews with the real Tony Mendez and then US President Jimmy Carter. It’s shocking as the 6 people recount their fears and trauma when they had to take refuge in the Canadian ambassador’s house. It’s emotionally choking as they all thank Tony Mendez for proving to be a messiah of sorts in their lives and getting them safely back to Iran in one of the greatest rescue missions ever. Easily one of the best features that ought not to be missed!
– Languages- English, French, Italian
– Subtitles- English, Dutch, French, Italian
– Widescreen 2.40:1
Argo is undoubtedly one of the best films ever made in recent times. Whether you have already watched it in the theatres or not, this DVD with a kickass special feature recounting the memories of the real life survivors and Tony Mendez is a collector’s edition that deserves to be a prized possession in your DVD collection.
Rating: * * * * *