Following the success of his directorial debut in Gone Baby Gone and the bewitching crime-saga, The Town; there’s no measure as to how Ben Affleck has matured into one of the most proficient filmmakers of his generation. In his latest suspense-fuelled adventure, Argo, he delivers his most sympathetic and gripping film to date.
Based on the true events of the Islamic Revolution, and the hostage crisis that escalated shortly after; this is an intelligent and vastly absorbing thriller that fires on all cylinders. Never before has such a film provided a perfect combination of political intrigue, impeccable tension, comedic banter, innovative storytelling, and agitating sincerity.
Affleck has a lot of authenticity and precision as a director, and once he takes centre stage by getting behind the camera, he’s dedicated to depicting the heroic tale of an inconceivable rescue mission conveyed by members of the CIA as accurately as possible, while prompting insightful and thought-provoking questions pertaining to the downfall of Iranian society during the time of social and political unrest. He also mixes sophisticated narratives with honest emotion while constructing vigorous suspense in between, and the result is a film that’s one part insightful social commentary, one part naturalistic human drama, and equal parts generic action/thriller. Plus, with the use of grand-scale cinematography, you’ll feel as though you’re reliving the actual events as they unfold right in front of your eyes.
The ensemble supporting cast, which includes Bryan Cranston (TV’s Breaking Bad), John Goodman (The Big Lebowski), and Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine), supply phenomenal performances; playing practical characters and the screenplay provides each of them with enough material to serve a purpose.
There’s not much else I can say, other then the fact that this film is bound to receive multiple Oscar nominations and captivate millions of viewers. The topic may prove to be distressful and devastating for sensitive spectators, but if you don’t take a chance on this spellbinding, haunting, and ingeniously restrained work of art you’ll be missing out on what will surely be remembered as the most important film of the year.
Affleck proves once again that his accomplishments as an actor/filmmaker are to be reckoned with, and no matter how much we’ve doubted his credibility in the past, I urge you to suspend whatever beliefs you had about him and enjoy this competently riveting thrill-ride; or else we have absolutely nothing left to discuss.