I wanted to see this new movie of Ben Affleck not because I like him as a good actor or director, only because I wanted to see what has been gathered by Americans to narrate one of the important events in the history of Iran, one of many that I personally experienced as a child.
In fact that was the first movie of Affleck that I watched. He, to me, always looked like a grade 3 actor, someone as low as a B Movie star but I didn't mind giving him a few bucks to watch what he directed.
I remember as a child one night my family was walking in front of the US Embassy in Tehran. It was for sure shortly after the embassy was captured by the people who called themselves The Universality Students Followers of the Path of Imam (Khomeini)! As much as this tile sounds stupid, what they did has impacts that today still affects Iranians all around the globe and inside Iran as well. I remember that it was a little cold fall night and we were walking on the sidewalk and there were all these peddlers who were selling books and newspapers. It was just shortly after the Revolution and different parties were still free to express themselves. Of course the Revolutionary Court put them all in prison or send them to fire squad later, in a few months! It was me, my younger brother, my Mom and of course Dad. My Mom now says that she was sick and tired of Dad's Political participation/games but there was not much to do at the time! Dad were always political and eventually got fired from his job for expressing himself and supporting anti-government opposition groups after the Revolution. He even once was called to Evin, one of the most notorious prisons in the world, and was interrogated. That had a very psychological impact on her.
I remember that Dad was always supportive of my studies. If I wanted to buy a book or a magazine who never would think twice. That night, in front of the Embassy of the US, in Tehran, I remember that I saw a little book of a French artist who had cartoons which their titles all had the word CIA in them! For example there was Ambulancia and many more but that is the only that I have in my mind. Dad bought that for me and then we went home after a few hours of walking around. When I say that that always supported my reading and studying it means that what I know about English language is mainly is because that always encouraged me to study. At times he would sit with me and we would read books in English, translate and discuss it.
Nevertheless Affleck's Argo starts with a brief history of Iran from the time of the American-British Coup which resulted in overthrown of Dr. Mossadegh's elected government to the Islamic Revolution. The narration is done by a woman which clearly has an Persian accent. The way she narrates the story and condemns the exiled King (Shah) at the end results in justification of the Islamic Revolution! I don't know whose message is that but there so many things behind that 1979 Islamic Revolution and can not simply pointed out in a 5 minutes narration of a movie. The stealing of the Revolution from the people and handing it over to the extremists, the role of the British and many other things. As Oliver Stone says in JFK it is a mystery wrapped in an enigma!
Then there are scenes in the movie which clearly are untrue and exaggeration It is made almost the same way that Not Without My Daughter was made. Street executions, truck loads of guerrillas driving around with their fingers on the trigger and looking around, etc. The movie has been probably filmed in Israel with Iranian-Israeli actors and actresses. That's what I can say by simply listening to their conversations. Stupid Affleck forgets to provide caption for most parts of the movie where Iranians talk in between themselves so I have no idea how the American and Canadians audience are supposed to understand the movie. The story is so simple and lacks almost any excitement but only one scene. In general the audience would not be happy to follow the story. I looked at my watch two times wanting to know when the movie ends possibly because I knew what the end was. I personally knew that the Canadian Embassy in Tehran helped 6 Americans to escape by issuing Canadian passport for them. I also knew that for that reason the Canadian Embassy remained closed until 1988 but never knew anything about the science-fiction called Argo. The movie would be exciting if Operation Eagle Claw was part of it but then it should have been called The Hostages, 444 Days or something like that. Overall It's a poor movie, with weak direction and low-quality play. I do not know why a Canadian or American would want to see this. They are not mostly political people, especially the young. They don't even care what is happening in their own country. Forget about a country at the other side of globe! I would not recommend the movie at all. I would not by the DVD and I would give it 1 out of 5.
(Photo: A popular photo from American hostages in the American Embassy in Tehran. A marine and an African-American. The African-Americans where freed shortly after their arrest among with women employees of the embassy as part of Islamic kindness that Khomeini wanted to show the world. The rest of them were released by Iran after 444 days and that was after the failure of the Operation Eagle Claw. F. F. said that the six who escaped to the residence of the ambassador of Canada to Iran, would have been released by the Iranians simply if they had been patients and did not have to go through the risk!)