'Argo' balances intensity and authenticity

By Kelly Schoessling

Entertainment Editor|

The planes begins to roll down the runway building up its momentum as it prepares to lift itself up into the clear sky. Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck “The Town”,) and the six hostages he’s smuggling out of Iran grip their plane seats tightly and close their eyes with nothing to rely on other than hope.

Cars filled with armed Iranian soldiers yell and scream with their guns poised to shoot in order to keep the Americans from leaving.

The cars speed up at an unbelievable pace until their neck and neck with the flashing plane. The two race beside each other until only luck can decide the winner.

This is only one of the many heart stopping and nail biting scenes within the new film, “Argo”. “Argo” is the true and unbelievable story of the bold mission created by Mendez to extract six hostages secretly taking refuge within the Canadian ambassador’s house in Iran in order to avoid being killed and executed.
Mendez produces the idea of making a fake science fiction movie called “Argo”, and having the six hostages act as a film crew scouting locations around the middle eastern area.

The idea of having the hostages pose as film makers is at first shot down by the United States government; but once the unrest of the Iranian mobs increases and patience of the American people decreases Mendez gets the okay to follow through with the mission.

Since “Argo” is based off a true story, most viewers walk into the theater already knowing the ending. Yet, somehow Affleck (director) makes audience members seriously consider whether or not hostages will come home safely in the end.

Though some scenes within the movie are most likely dramatized in order to make the film more riveting and intense, the ending credits of the film compares side by side historical photos of Iran from 1980 with identical screenshots from the film.


Besides authenticity, an unlikely, yet key  factor within the film was two particular characters: Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin “Little Miss Sunshine”) and John Chambers (John Goodman ”The Artist”) who both pose as the producer and makeup artist for the film.

The two characters provide an extremely different vibe for the film bringing in a lighter comic relief to alleviate some of the tension built up within the movie.

The comedy shouldn’t work in this type of film, but it does.

The lighter scenes between these characters provide the audience a chance to come up for air before going back under all the conflict and suspense occurring within the film.

“Argo” also presented itself to be smartly profound and severely complex from beginning to end thanks to the layered details throughout the plot, that made the film feel even more realistic.

For example, in a scene which one of the hostages attempts to explain to the Iranian guards the plot of their fake movie, he expresses the story of little boy who is kidnapped by an evil alien, but is later saved by his mother and father and brought back to his world.

This plot can similarly be compared to Mendez’s story of saving the hostages and bringing them back home to their families.

Much like the plot of their fake movie, one of the final scenes within “Argo” consists of a simple shot of Mendez lying in bed with his 10 year old son sleeping on his shoulder as Mendez relaxes and finally returns back to his own world.

Interested in seeing “Argo” for yourself?  Click here to see the trailer.