03 January 2013

Argo (Ben Affleck, 2012, USA)

Of the end of the year prestige type movies, this is one I had particularly high hopes for. Perhaps that's what set it up for disappointment. I was really struck by how unremarkable it was. It skimmed along on the surface from episode to episode, often feeling disingenuous or mendacious. The acting was okay, but most of the characters felt two dimensional. It also seemed to suffer a little bit from the "Will somebody please worry about the rich white people?" scenario. They never really established why we should care about these whiny privileged people. I also couldn't help but draw comparisons to the Chris Marker film The Embassy, which was inspired by the Chilean coup in 1973 that claimed the lives of Salvador Allende and countless others. Given that the events that inspired both movies are claimed to have been the result of American interference in the domestic politics of foreign countries, I have to say I found to feel too badly about the people in this story. There is one comment in the film where someone asks whether justice for the former shah would be the worst thing, and by extension one wonders if justice for the people who propped him up would be the worst thing as well. Mostly though, I feel like the movie is this glib story of Hollywood heroism that doesn't succeed in making you care too much about the people being rescued. I was also distracted by all the reports of historical inaccuracies in the story. It felt like a pointless manipulation and it left me as cold as Saving Private Ryan, in certain respects. C

No comments:

Post a Comment