Capers



I didn't watch Argo right after it was filmed in the U.S, or even after it got rave reviews all over the web. Actually, I was just fortunate to come across the film on HBO last year; it was good, though there's no justice to file it as one of the films people come across while flipping channels. By the time I was skimming through today's HBO schedule, I knew it's time to finish Argo right from the start.

Just a few words before the praises: about the whole shebang that the film is historically inaccurate-- true, it is, but this should be out of the question since the film is based loosely on a clandestine operation (Canadian Caper); the film and its creators have the freedom to alter, edit out, exaggerate or even create characters or situations; otherwise, it's a documentary.

One of the marks of an excellent thriller is the pacing, the unfolding of the scenes: it should be seamless, one riding on top of the other, to create this overwhelming feeling of suspense and helplessness, that lack of control I felt while watching Transsiberian (a friend and I had to pause the film on my laptop to smoke cigarettes and discuss about what might--and shouldn't--happen). Though I already knew about the confrontations, the last-minute delays, the cliffhangers, the happy ending, seeing things unfold in Argo all over again is just pure adrenaline rush--to the point that my wife was half-worried, half-wondering about my being engrossed in the film. ("You looked like you're going to have a heart attack.")

Why are people so bent about the whole fiasco it was based on? Should the film even stay faithful with what it's based on? A thriller should be keen on timing, not on historicizing; Argo had me stuck on the sofa, breathing erratically.