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Tanya Khoury: An honest vision
December 07, 2012
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I feel like I am back at the time when I saw Ben Affleck’s The Town, when he had gone through a series of bad flicks and decided to direct again and deliver. Well-deserved praise was given to him for that feature but it pales in comparison to his latest directorial feat, Argo.

In all honesty, and as much as I do love to love him as an actor, he is best when he is at his best, that is, when he is behind the camera. Although he is behind the camera as well as in front of it as the leading man in Argo, the rest of the cast is just as terrific.

The film is based on (and let’s define “based” for a minute) on real events that occurred during the extraction of six Americans from the US embassy in Iran during the 1979 Revolution. When a film states that it is based on true events it means that in reality these events did happen of course, but Hollywood has embellished them. In Argo, though, and for this kudos to Affleck’s exceptional directing, he literally takes us back in time with real footage of actual events that took place. Naturally, the dialogue and the ins and outs of scenes have to have an entertainment value, this is after all a film, but the main story remains true to form.

In all fairness, the bizarreness of that extraction makes it enough of a brilliant plot for an espionage flick, the material is so rich that you can only imagine what was going through the minds of the screenwriters, producers and the others during the script run. I will not get into all the details of the plot as the story revolves around that extraction, so you should all go see it for yourselves. What I want to talk about is the casting and Affleck’s vision for this film.

From the get go you can tell that there is no messing around in this story; the crispness in the filming and the focus of the characters bring out a certain personality in the director. I know that feels and sounds a little biased, but I feel that this is the case with the films that Affleck directs. There is a certain glow that he manages to show in each and every character that is cast in his films and whether they take a minute or 50 of the screen time, they all have an important task in making his vision as honest as possible on screen. From Alan Arkin and John Goodman to Bryan Cranston and Scoot McNairy, this list goes on, as a team they work, and like I said earlier, as much as I appreciate Affleck I see him better as a director than as an actor but with all that talent in the room there was not much to complain about.

Overall, you can look at this film as a spy film, there is the thriller aspect and although if any of you know the story of those six Americans you already know what the ending is going to be like but you are still engrossed and you still feel like something is going to come out of the left field. The film’s 120 minute run is engaging and refreshing, a good story for Affleck that once again rises back to the top and deserves a convincing 7.9/10.

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