So last night I went to see Argo with my parents, my aunt, and 7 of my other friends.. Persian pride anyone? We are all movie lovers and add in a movie about Iran? We're all in. Of course, this movie centers around the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979 during the overthrow of the Shah...and I am in full agreement with the despicable behavior that the revolutionaries in Iran had towards the Americans at the embassy. In no way do I condone what happened and I am left feeling ashamed of Iran for that moment in history. However, I do not believe that this defines Iran or its people as a whole. My parents for one, don't even identify with post-revolution Iran because they left right before it began. Their stories about growing up in Iran, its people, and the rich culture are almost exactly opposite of what Iran unfortunately became after the revolution occurred. Anyways, bottom line, no matter if you are Iranian or not -- this story was a true action film, leaving you on the edge of your seat until the end. I don't want to give away spoilers in any of my movie posts, but wow. I think what stuck out most to me was how fast paced the movie was in the most timely way possible. If that makes sense? Ben Affleck did a perfect job in not dragging any scene for too long but also spending enough time focusing on details that were necessary for character development.
I had read some reviews prior to watching the film, saying how some critics thought that incorporating his family life and relationship with his son was a bit corny and unnecessary. I actually didn't think so at all. In fact, I think it humanizes him and makes him more relateable as our protagonist. Instead of being just the CIA agent who is trying to save the hostages, we actually see the side of him that makes him "just another guy" like us. So I definitely enjoyed that plot point.
Other than that, another thing I really enjoyed about the film was the introduction. I'm not really a huge fan of narration because it tends to get cheesy.. but this segway into the film was not only very engaging, but also very needed in a film like this. There are so many of us (myself included!) who didn't have the in depth knowledge of Iran's deep rooted history and how it governs itself. I have some friends who still ask me questions like "why do Iranian women have to cover themselves?" and it leaves me very interested to share more with them about how Iranian went from a true kingdom to an Islamic Republic where the religion is forced upon the people, with no exceptions.
One of the coolest things for me was seeing how creative the CIA really needs to get. Who would have ever thought that the solution to freeing 6 hostages from a third world country would be to have them mascarade as a film crew? The details this movie included were things you wouldn't even think of -- getting approval from locations, writing a fake script, getting fake production rights... the film includes all of this and you can really sense, "wow, this is completely plausible/ they thought of everything." Some scenes were hard to watch, but I'm a firm believer in the necessity to watch scenes like that because not only are they the truth, but also allows one to take a look at life and see how blessed we really are compared to the atrocities that have happened in the past.
I would DEFINITELY watch this movie again, and it's one of those that really have you on edge for the last 15 minutes. I don't remember the last time I watched a film that had me tapping my leg frantically and literally anxiety boiling up in me to see what happened in the end. It was that good. What makes the film even better is that it's based off a true story. Sure some details are obviously exaggerated because it is Hollywood and we have to engage the viewers, but all in all the ending isn't made up. The experiences of the 6 hostages and their emotions throughout their tumultuous journey weren't made up. We get to feel what they feel, fear what they fear, and hope with them.
The final touch to make this movie amazing? The cast. WOW. John Goodman, Kyle Chandler, Bryan Cranston, and Alan Arkin. Hands down, wonderful. I can't get enough of good acting (thanks to my dad's high standards from childhood!) and wow... Not only were there some hilarious moments thrown in, but the intense moments were amplified because of these actors' devotion to their roles.
I really recommend this film.. especially if you're Iranian, but even if you're not, just to get to catch a glimpse of a de-classified CIA story is a treat. It makes me wonder how many others there are out there and how in the dark we are.. but that's getting me worked up into a whole other issue ;)