I am going out on a limb here and talking about a movie. I don't usually do that, and I hope it will be well received. I had been wanting to watch Argo since it was in the theaters. And as life always gets in the way, I never got there. So finally I picked up the DVD. I am a sucker for historical accounts and things based on true stories. (I say based here because as stated it was "based", and some concerns have been raised about the cinematic license that had been taken with the film.) Like when I saw Lincoln, which also had some historical inaccuracies, I was completely in awe.
I loved the movie. I felt it was well done, very dramatic without over the top violence. It was well written and well directed, and restored my faith in my home town boy Ben Affleck. Could I point out the inaccuracies? Since I was five when the whole Iran hostage crisis evolved, not from a first hand account. Did I think the plane chase at the end was added for effect? Oh hell yah. If they wanted to stop them bad enough they would have. (In reality there was no plane chase and the seven got out of the country with just cursory looks at their forged passports.) A little research and the details are easy to point out. But you can not argue that it was the defining moment of the Carter administration. In the years that he was president I believe this was his biggest challenge. (I could be wrong, I might go look that up.)
As is the case with all Hollywood adaptions, let's face it it's an adaption, things were added and omitted for time and cinematic value. Do we need another movie on what was happening in the embassy while they were focused at getting the six out of the Canadian consulate. Maybe, I would like to see those people given the due they deserve for making it through. Let's face it, no one escaped that situation without permanent scaring. But the fact was Affleck decided to focus on this one part of a larger situation.
The thing was it was great to see a movie come out that didn't resort to violence and shock. It was a pure dramatic story about a challenging time in US History. And hopefully it will wake people up that the issues we face today have been going on longer that the past decade. My almost thirteen year old son asked me if he could see it. He loves history and I had taken him to see Lincoln in the theater. Would I let him with the R rating? Yes. I have already discussed the premise with him, and we have discussed how Hollywood adds things to make them better for movies. He gets that. In fact he was the youngest person in the theater when we went to see Lincoln, and he was whispering to me all the things they got wrong through the movie.
But look at it this way. He asked to see a movie that some kids might find dull. And it opened a discussion into the true story basis of the movie. It drove me to find a documentary on the crisis so we could learn more about it, and it sparked his interest in a tumultuous almost forgotten time in our history. I think for that Affleck should be congratulated. Despite the inaccuracies it held I was impressed. Argo is worth your time. It's a welcome reprieve from all the numbing down that goes on in Hollywood.
Photo of the "real" six hostages evacuated from Iran 1980