What price a better tomorrow?

Featuring

Christian Bale as Irving Rosenfeld
Bradley Cooper as Agent Richard DiMaso
Amy Adams’ cleavage as Sydney Prosser
Jeremy Renner as Mayor Carmine Polito
Jennifer Lawrence as Rosalyn Rosenfeld
Michael Pena as Paco Hernandez/Sheikh Abdullah
and Robert De Niro as Victor Tellegio

American Hustle is basically a movie about everyone seeking a better tomorrow. A better tomorrow that isn’t necessarily exclusively for themselves. Of course, most of the characters are more selfish than altruistic, but the movie demonstrates that, beneath its hilarity and copious amounts of Lois Lane cleavage, the world is grey and those who love to think of it as black and white are missing out.

We begin with Irving, who only earlier this year was gallivanting around last year as The Dark Knight. In the intervening few months, he’s gained a big gut and a ridiculously complicated combover. I guess losing Wayne Enterprises really hit him hard. So hard in fact that he married Katniss from the Hunger Games.

Irving is a conman, married unhappily, but trying his best to do the right thing by his adopted son by not getting a divorce. He owns four dry cleaning businesses, but times are tough and the only way he can afford to keep his family fed (because Katniss causes lots of household items to CATCH ON FIRE) is to relieve others of their hard earned illegitimately.

In this venture, he’s helped by Sydney, who goes through the entire movie faking an English accent and dressing in dresses that leave little to the imagination. I’m sure that’s partly why Irving falls in love with her. Unfortunately, they’re busted by the FBI and a deal is presented to them where they won’t go to gaol if they help to bring more fraudsters down. Even more unfortunately, the FBI agent on the case, Richie is drunk on power and begins having delusions of grandeur about taking down high level politicians. You can imagine that it doesn’t work all that well.

In any case, the movie is ultimately more about each character searching for a better tomorrow and striving for it in their own unique way. Some, like Richie are after the fame of making the country less corrupt, even as they’re stuck in a career that looks like a dead end. Others, like Irving are trying to find true love and a more comfortable life. Others, like Mayor Polito envision a better tomorrow as giving his community opportunities for work and dignity.

It’s true that the world really is grey rather than black or white. Even though Irving starts off as unlikely to be likeable, the events in the movie shows that even conmen have a conscience. Ironically, the supposed good guy, Richie, loses his head and digs an ever deeper plot that he cannot back out of and destroys not just his life and dreams, but those of many others.

This movie is excellent and showcases the abilities of the cast members, especially Jennifer Lawrence, whose performance made the capacity theatre laugh out out loud, especially during the science oven scene. I definitely recommend you watch it.

Rating

Good, smart, if slightly overly complex and frenetic movie

Should I watch it?

Yup. Just be prepared to keep your brain turned on for all the subtle twists and turns.

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