The first shot of the movie American Hustle shows us the fat belly of Christian Bale which itself will make you do that muted “wow” thing appreciating the commitment of the actor. When I look at the movie totally, its more of a performance exhibition with solidly written characters. If you ask me whether I was thrilled by the con play part of the movie, the answer would be a no as that shade of the film never really went to that entertaining level.
Irving Rosenfeld and Sydney Prosser are two con artists who are moving ahead really quickly and aggressively in their “business”. At a crucial point in their con play and personal relationship, a federal agent Richie takes them down and decides to use them for a sting operation against some gangsters and politicians. How the operation goes and how it affects these characters personally is what this crime comedy drama trying to convey.
Much like David O Russell’s previous film Silver Linings Playbook, here also we can see some characters written very smartly. The FBI agent who gets humiliated by the smart moves of our main protagonist and the wife who still care about her husband even after an agreed divorce were some characters which showed us the power of the writing of this movie. The screenplay gets tangled over these personal sentiments for too long thus reducing the significance of the ultimate con play.
In terms of performance, Christian Bale deserves applauds for his physical transformation and I also liked the way he managed to keep that awkward accent throughout the film. Amy Adams also portrayed the character of Sydney quite nicely; no comments about her costumes (as it could be a problem of my fashion sense). Russell’s last film pair Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence are there in the star cast in prominent roles delivering a memorable performances. The desperation came out correctly from Cooper and Jennifer somewhat reminded the craziness she showed in Silver Linings ( not a blame). Jeremy Renner was also nice as the Mayor and a small cameo by Robert De Niro with Arabic dialogues is there to offer some fun.
David O. Russell has treated the movie with lesser chaos as we may expect a faster tempo in these sort of stories. He has squeezed out his actors very well. Screenplay as I said, has constructed the characters nicely but was more focused on the emotional baggage which in my view was a drawback. The other technical aspects were pretty nice.
Overall, American Hustle is worth a watch. More significance on the con play would have made the movie more appealing. The rating is 3.5/5 for this hustle.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended