‘Argo’: Too good of a movie to be true?

By Molly Grosskreutz

A&E Editor

and

Valerie Groebner

A&E Assistant Editor

Ben Affleck directs and stars in “Argo,” a dramatic thriller based on a true CIA operation conducted in the early 1980s.

It is 1980, and the country of Iran is in chaos. Fifty American hostages have been taken prisoner in the overtaken U.S. Embassy, while only six manage to escape. CIA Agent Tony Mendez (Affleck) is given the seemingly impossible task of getting those six Americans—the ones in hiding—home. Alive.  Mendez devises a unique strategy: fake produce a fake movie. What results is a thrilling two-hour ride into the terror and uncertainty of real-life hostage situations.

MG: Two words come to mind after seeing this film: holy ****. I went into it knowing it had received some pretty positive reviews, but it really blew me away. I was a little skeptical that it could keep me invested for two straight hours, especially considering all the work I was neglecting to drag myself to the theatre, but I was sucked in.

VG: From the opening credits, to the last note played by the orchestra, I was completely amazed by this film. I attached myself to it and, in a symbolic way, I related to it. Truly, I did. The cast line-up attracted my attention the most. I was happy to see that it was not filled with dazzling A-List actors, yet it was refreshing to see some respectable, well-renowned men (John Goodman, Bryan Cranston, Victor Garber.)

MG: Period movies are hard to pull off. This one did a great job of using modern technology to recreate the feeling of the late 70s/early 80s on camera. The clothes, the glasses, the make-up…even the aesthetic of the film itself felt vintage.

VG: The facial hair, too! That was also spot-on. I was thrilled with the use of real life, vintage footage throughout the film! The reality and nostalgia of it added a fantastic touch to the film as a whole; I was, in a way, able to sense the tension and drama that was going on during this time.

MG: As someone who is easily bored by history, this film did a good job of explaining the context of the story and getting me invested. I wasn’t at all lost in the specifics of what was going on at the time.

VG: In all honesty, I was not aware that this historical event had occurred. The precision and rawness of it all, though, impressed me and I felt as though I left the cinema smarter and even more cultured. We need more movies like this.

MG: I have to comment on how fabulous Alan Arkin was as Lester, the fake film’s producer. His dead-pan jokes and ceaseless sarcasm lightened the mood exactly when necessary.

VG: As he has been out of the Hollywood spotlight for some time, yet is such a hunk to many females, I was rather dubious about Ben Affleck as the main man prior to seeing this film. He proved me wrong, though, and did a great job as the scruffy, and morose-yet-clever agent.

MG: A quality film that shows how you can take a real story lost in the newspaper archives and then breathe new life into it, makes it something worth talking about again.

VG: I cried. There, I said it. It was that touching. I feel wrong in a way for saying this, but the film was beautiful. These kinds of films don’t come along every weekend, and a work like this should not go ignored or unappreciated.

 Final Verdict:

MG: Thumbs up.

VG: Thumbs up.

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