I saw Argo Saturday night- overall, great movie. First, to keep my mom happy, I will warn you that there is a lot of language- not just English and Farsi and Canadian, but also bad words.
They did a great job on the film visually. Most people have seen a lot more video of Iraq than Iran (and Bagdad than Tehran), but they believe the two countries look alike. Not so. Have you ever been to the Seattle airport and seen the beautiful mountains as a backdrop to the city? That’s what Tehran looks like, and they really captured that. They also shot the film in that grainy-70s-we’re-still-trying-to-figure-out-this-color-film-thing style, which really helps. Throw in some original Star Wars action figures, old news footage with young Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather, and Ben Affleck‘s impressively shaggy beard and hair, and you really feel like you’re in 1979.
Per Hollywood union rules, they do have a two minute voice over (possibly by Drew Barrymore?) in which they leave a whole bunch of things out, state that everything bad is the United States’ fault and that anything that happens to us is our own fault. The good news is that after they get that out of the way, the movie gets pretty non-political and really focuses on the story and the people and this unbelievable plan, rather than on making a statement.
As for the cast, John Goodman and Alan Arkin are hilarious and really steal the show. That’s one of those rare times I really wished I cursed like a sailor because Arkin’s “Ar…go (blank) (blank)” line is so funny (So I Married An Axe Murderer is still my favorite Alan Arkin movie). You’ll see Bryan Cranston (Malcolm In The Middle) in a role that will surprise you. And Kyle Chandler looks less like me than he has at any other point in his career. FYI, Ben Affleck is married to Alias star Jennifer Garner (impressive segue, Brian!) You know how everyone in Alias who played an American was really born outside the US, and everyone who played an international character was really an American with a fake accent? Well, it was nice to see Ontario’s own Victor Garber play an actual Canadian.
Overall, really entertaining and interesting movie. I wouldn’t take the kids to see it, but it’s definitely worth watching.
PS- For you nerds out there who really want to know Persia/Iran in a deeper way, I highly recommend A History Of Iran: Empire of The Mind by Michael Axworthy. In reality, everything that we know about Iran is just a small blip, a short sentence, in their massive history.
What did you think of the movie? Have you ever read a book on Iran? Comment below!