Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1980.
British retirees travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than its advertisements, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways.
In 1979, the American embassy in Iran was invaded by Iranian revolutionaries and several Americans were taken hostage. However, six managed to escape to the official residence of the Canadian Ambassador and the CIA was ordered to get them out of the country. With few options, exfiltration expert Tony Mendez devised a daring plan: create a phony Canadian film project looking to shoot in Iran and smuggle the Americans out as its production crew. With the help of some trusted Hollywood contacts, Mendez created the ruse and proceeded to Iran as its associate producer. However, time was running out with the Iranian security forces closing in on the truth while both his charges and the White House had grave doubts about the operation themselves. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The rifles carried by the Iranian revolutionary guards in the movie are accurately selected fixed-stock G3-A4, a variant of German H-K G3 rifles manufactured locally in Iran by the country's Defense Industries Organization. The movie producers obviously resisted the temptation to use the easy-to-find AK-47 rifles, which were indeed used by the Iran's revolutionary guards, but only a couple of years after the hostage crisis, during the war with Iraq. See more »
Ben Affleck's character Tony Mendez wears a Rolex Sea-Dweller DEEPSEA (reference number 116660) watch which was introduced first in 2008 (in 1980 the correct Rolex Sea-Dweller should be a reference number 1665). See more »
This is the Persian Empire known today as Iran. For 2,500 years, this land was ruled by a series of kings, known as shahs. In 1950, the people of Iran elected Mohammad Mossadeqh, a secular democrat, as Prime Minister. He nationalized British and U.S. petroleum holdings, returning Iran's oil to it's people. But in 1953, the U.S. and Great Britain engineered a coup d'etat that deposed Mossadeqh and installed Reza Pahlavi as shah. The young Shah was known for opulence and ...
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Past the photos of cast members and the real people they play, there's audio from an interview with then-President Jimmy Carter talking about the crisis. See more »
Is there anything worse than competent mediocrity? Because, surely this is competent, perhaps more than competent, professional, well shot. I will put aside for the moment that there is no characterization to speak of here, that it is flimsy as procedural, that its politics are unnecessarily uncomplicated (good CIA battles evil Islam), its tone uncertain, with all the goofy movie-making stuff sticking out like a sore thumb. The film is soulless, painting by numbers.
The movie was fake after all, but the mission was real.
In Affleck's case, there is something worse. Because you see, he does not attempt to 'write history with lightning', as was said about Birth of a Nation a century ago. He softly rewrites the thing. The Canadian stuff has (rightfully) received the most backlash. Imagine thisthe CIA analyst who advised Affleck, there had to be one, thought it would be a good idea to end this insinuating the CIA did all the job, but graciously let Canada reap the publicity.
But this was too blunt and it backfired, bringing to the fore the more subtle marginalization of Canadian intelligence work all through the film, which otherwise would have perhaps passed with little notice. The film after all establishes that the Canadian ambassador has taken the six in, even though in his fleeting screen time, he hovers about as a 'kindly concierge', as another reviewer put it.
You will see a more insidious version of this mentality in the opening few minutes of the film, sketching past US intervention in Iranthe film admits US backing of the Shah and his oppressive regime into power, human rights abuses and so on, but curiously, this part is mainly animated in the form of storyboards, mirroring those we see later of the fake film, as something near- mythical that happened in another time and world. Smart.
So, why the heck are we celebrating Affleck? The film shows him to be a blockhead who can put the camera sometimes in the right place.
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