When the American embassy is attacked in 1978 following the Iranian revolution and subsequent escape of the Shah, six embassy officials manage to escape the furious mob by walking into the streets and ending up in the Canadian Ambassador's house. Later, CIA manages to get them out of the country by constructing a story of Hollywood crew on location scouting. Ben Affleck bases his latest directorial venture on this true story to bring out an interesting and gripping drama on the screen.
Tony Mendez(Ben Affleck) is part of the operation which is trying to rescue the six American embassy officials taking refuge in the Candaian Ambassador's house. CIA has no concrete plans for the rescue. The only plausible plan is the one in which the embassy officials can pose as a crew on a location hunt for a movie. In order to make this plan work, Tony has to recruit help from Hollywood in the form of John Chambers(John Goodman) a makeup artist and Lester Siegel(Alan Arkin) a movie producer.
Ben Affleck quickly sets the action in place after providing a primer on the whole confict using voice overs. He keeps the viewer engaged with the fast paced drama on the screen. He has also an excellent supporting cast. Ben uses not only photography techniques reminiscent of the era but also the famous TV clips from the same era. The tension is captured brillianty during the US Embassy seige in the initial reels. However, the drama during the escape from Iran seems to be far fetched and also a bit forced for the thrills.
Performance wise, the movie belongs to Ben Affleck's Tony Mendez and Alan Arkin's Siegel. Ben Affleck effectively underplays his role making it more enjoyable to watch. Alan Arkin gets the best lines and provides the best humorous scenes in the movie.
Go for it. Although it tells only the American angle, it is still good to watch for foming our own opinion about the crisis.