Sunday, January 19, 2014

Movie Review: American Hustle

Disclaimer: I love Jennifer Lawrence, so any movie with her has to be a MUST SEE :) You just cannot get better than her. Hot, beautiful, innocently stupid, that smile, those eyes, and that voice - Jennifer Lawrence puts in yet another beautiful performance that only she could have done justice to.

Add to that the delicious Bradley Cooper, the beautiful Amy Adams, and a stupendous performance by Christian Bale, a great story line, a totally engrossing script... the movie will simply suck you in, and never let go.

American Hustle is about a devious and smart conman Irving (Christian Bale) and his girlfriend and partner in crime Edith aka Sydney (Amy Adams), who are forcibly enlisted by an FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) into trapping corrupt politicians and gangs in New Jersey in the late 70s. "Some of this actually happened", says the opening frame of the movie. 

Their first target is the mayor of Camden, New Jersey, Carmine Polito, who looks like Elvis Presley, and sincerely loves his city and its people, and is willing to compromise the line to get jobs and wealth back to his state. Through a fake FBI Arab Sheik, the plan is to sting Carmine, and through him numerous senators and gang lords, using the Sheik's promise of millions of dollars in funding for Atlantic City in return for "favours".

The weak link in the plan - Irving's wife Rosalyn (the awwwesome Jeniffer Lawrence), whose deep anxiety about her husband and her innocence, can play the perfect spoilsport in what seems to be an otherwise flawless plan. Or is it really?

The performances are simply outstanding. Christian Bale as the out of shape and out of hair Irving Rosenfeld leads with his beautiful portrayal of the conman, with deep-rooted self confidence. Bradley Cooper as the hot-headed FBI agent, Jeremy Renner as Carmine and Amy Adams as Sydney Prosser and her alter-ego Lady Edith are engrossing. And Robert DeNiro puts in a beautiful cameo as ganglord Victor Tellagio.

But for me,  it is the irresistible Jennifer Lawrence as Rosalyn who is the absolute darling of the movie. She doesn't take too much of the screen time, but when she does, she absolutely dazzles in her portrayal of Irving's possessive and crazily unpredictability wife with a penchant for lighting fires in her kitchen and expecting her husband to thank her for it!

The script is wonderful, the humour subtle, and the movie exudes an intelligence and sensitivity that makes you fall in love with the 70s.

There are some beautiful lines in the film.... the one I loved - "People believe what they want to believe. This is the way the world works. No black and white, always grey." 

Go watch American Hustle. Nothing grey about that!

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