Two con artists, Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) are roped into assisting an FBI agent, Richie DeMaso (Bradley Cooper) on his quest to entrap and arrest Mayor Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) of Camden, New Jersey, on the basis of corruption. The sting operation escalates, and the trio find themselves in a situation involving the mafia, a fake sheikh, and an ever increasing sum of millions of dollars.
There are two main themes of this movie: one is hair, and the the other is cleavage, -not always in the same shot. From the first scene we know that this is Christian Bale as we have never seen him before; pot-bellied and complete with a comb over. This is, aesthetically, a far cry from the roles we are used to seeing Bale perform. But in a way, it is refreshing. There is a certain realism, amongst the increasingly complex plotline, that makes us learn to accept, and even love, the many flaws in the characters of American Hustle. And they are flawed. Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) presents a self-conscious and erratic personality, but balances this with a kind of individualism and self-determination that makes the audience warm to her. Rosalyn, played by America’s sweetheart Jennifer Lawrence, perfects the immature, damaged, yet all together believable wife of Bale’s character, Irving. She’s loud, drunk, and possibly one of the most interesting characters in this this twisting, turning, and all together compelling movie.
I have heard a lot of comments, coming from friends, family, and online review that this film is too dialogue-based, too complex, too… slow. My personal opinion is that the mainstream audience has become too desensitised by the explosive simplicity of CGI. American Hustle provides a refreshing change to our cinema menu, it is the glamorously swanky cosmopolitan cocktail to the sea of superhero colours and flavourings. It’s still bursting with flavour, with tonnes of selling power provided by the all-star cast and excellent script, but if you are looking for action, adventure and pyrotechnics, this is not the film for you.
Starring: Christian bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence.
Directed: David O. Russell
Running Time: 138 minutes
Released: 20th December 2013