Hell yeah all the way. I have never liked Ben Affleck as an actor, have never even considered him a proper one. I think he’s a fairly good looking man, and I adore his lil family with Jen Garner, but have you seen his earlier films?! He really doesn’t have it and we all know it. His performance in Argo, pretty decent but nothing to call home about. But from a directing-stint point of view, he’s pretty much awesomesauce. Okay maybe not AWESOME awesomesauce, but this being his 3rd directing feat? I am so very impressed. Like o___0 impressed. He should be a full-fledged director man, totally won’t miss seeing him on the big screen.
Being a history know-nothing, especially history relating to other nations (heck I’m not sure if I’m clear about my country’s lol), the mention of ARGO hit zero in my brain. I know nothing about it, literally nothing apart from the fact that Ben Affleck’s in it. I didn’t even know film’s based on real life events. Turned out to be a blessing in disguise, I loved the film, appreciated the message it tried to convey, and was truly impressed by Ben’s down to earth gritty depiction of a historical event. I think if I’d known about the story or anything remotely related to this particular event back then, it’d have lessened my enjoyment a tad bit. I’d might have harbored a different or more tainted opinion on film, the truth and what it could have been on the big screen.
But overall, film’s a wonderful blast of grit and intensity, splashed with brushes of humor, clouded with sense of calm amongst an impending storm, and all of that captured in 2 hours with assured and solid direction by Ben. His execution was meticulous and slick, assured and most importantly, engaging. Camera work was a tad too zig-zaggy at times, but I took it as a form of execution towards realism in the film. His grounded direction coupled with the writer’s solid put-together story of an intense and humane rescue of 6 American escapees in Iran sold me right on, I was hooked right off the bat, with eyes glued on screen that never left for 2 hours.
Don’t think this film would appeal to everyone though, with some sensitive and political elements hanging over it. As a viewer who approached this purely on an entertainment basis, and with no history know-how prior, it was a fantastic ride of thrill colored with subtle nuances of human frailty and insecurity. The narrative of the film lacked a tad sensitivity (if you get what I mean) and wasn’t fully explored in some cases, but I didn’t take away much of that from film. I was instead more fascinated by how such an intense and thrilling action genre can appear to be so grounded and un-flamboyant like most Hollywood films of similar fashion.
All the characters in the film, in particular Ben’s character, Mendez, had ongoing presence thruout, giving the film life and its breathing connection with us viewers. Ben had a brilliant grasp and understanding on how he wanted the film and its actors to come together, never over-stepping or intrusive, everyone had a part to play, and everyone did just quite nicely (even himself this time around). Every character showed a human and frail side, when faced with what could be the direst of situations. The film, though sold as a thrilling rescue genre, had a grueling emotional side to it, a calming realisation that fear can be your deadliest enemy, that when things and choices are put in your hands, you have no where to turn to.
What Ben Affleck has done for and in this film baffles, and still does. Not because he’s technically affluent or skillful as the rest of such renowned names in the directing field, but because his effort and genuineness in telling a story showed thru this film. It may have not been perfect in absoluteness, it didn’t dig very deep, certain elements could have been done away with or better developed, but it had an undermining heart that shone thru the grit and gloom of its essence. It tapped on entertainment and connection with the viewers and worked.
One of the best and most enjoyable films I’ve seen this (last?) year, you have gotta check it out!
Check out the trailer:
And a wonderful OST score by Alexandre Desplat:
credits: youtube / poster as tagged