Rating : 8/10
Release Date : October, 2009
Time : 120 minutes
Director : Ben Affleck; Writers : Chris Terrio, based on Master of Disguise by Antonio Mendez and a Wired article The Great Escape by Joshuah Bearman ; Music : Alex Heffes
Starring : Ben Affleck, Bryan Branston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Victor Garber
When you know how its going to end but yet are totally engrossed at every twist and turn, it says something about the skill of the director / screenwriter. This is a fictionalized account of the hostage crisis in Iran in 1980, where 6 American’s stay hidden in the Canadian Ambassador’s house while the entire anti-American Iranian regime hunts for them. The US devises several plans to get them out, but in the end the one that is approved is Ben Affleck’s crazy plan…and he has to go to Iran and get them out.
The kookiness of the plan, its several doubters in the CIA, the short timing to get them out, the Iranian spies, the atmosphere of the uprising against the previous pro-American regime everything is captured excellently, the tension almost unbearable in some parts. The beginning of the film explains how the USA routinely and covertly overthrows governments, especially if oil is involved. The film therefore, fortunately, stays clear of jingoism or cheerleading territory but focuses instead on the human drama. Great, gripping stuff.