Thursday, 4 April 2013

DVD review : Argo

When the opportunity came up to receive a review copy of Argo, that was released last month on DVD and Blu-Ray, I was keen to see what we'd think of the film that scooped pretty much every single award up for grabs. OK, I may be exaggerating slightly but it did win a BAFTA Award for Best Film, a BAFTA Award for Best Direction, a BAFTA Award for Best Editing, a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Drama, a Golden Globe Award for Best Director – Motion Picture, an Academy Award for Best Motion Picture of the Year, an Academy Award for Best Achievement in Editing and Academy Award for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published. Phew !

Based on real events, Argo takes us back to 1979 and chronicles the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis, focusing on the little-known role that the CIA and Hollywood played - information that was not declassified until many years after the event. I was 7 years old in 1979 so although I remember the words "hostage crisis" being bandied around on TV and when the grown-ups talked, I didn't really have a clue what it was all about. At that age, I was more interested in watching Sapphire & Steele, Charlie's Angels or Worzel Gummidge than trying to understand current events, so Argo was a great way of understanding what went right over my head in my carefree childhood days.

The movie is directed by Ben Affleck (who also has a starring role) alongside George Clooney (swoon) and Oscar nominee Grant Heslov. I was immediately impressed by how well they reproduce the late seventies vibe in the movie - the clothes, the music, the backdrops, the whole atmosphere seemed spot on.

The official synopsis is : "On November 4, 1979, as the Iranian revolution reaches its boiling point, militants storm the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, taking 52 Americans hostage. But, in the midst of the chaos, six Americans manage to slip away and find refuge in the home of Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor. Knowing it is only a matter of time before the six are found out and likely killed, the Canadian and American governments ask the CIA to intervene. The CIA turns to their top “exfiltration” specialist, Tony Mendez, to come up with a plan to get the six Americans safely out of the country. A plan so incredible, it could only happen in the movies."

I actually found the early part of the film was a bit long - it took a while to get going but in the second half, the pace really picked up and I really got into it. If it wasn't based on real events, I'd have had a hard time believing the storyline, but it just goes to show, truth is sometimes stranger than fiction! The tension mounts and the final scenes are totally gripping, even if you know how it all ultimately ends.

The bonus content, featuring heavily on the real-life events behind the film, is well worth watching too.

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £9.99 on DVD, £14.99 on Blu-Ray

Classification: 15
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: 4 Mar 2013
Run Time: 120 minutes

Disclosure : I received a copy of the Blu-Ray in order to write an honest review.

Other reviews you may be interested in :

Sainsbury's Popcorn & Movie Afternoon !

1 comment:

  1. I had no interest in this film, it sounded so dull, until I watched all the fuss about it at the Oscars - might give it a go!


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