Hustle in local slang means to earn a living through illicit or unethical means. It is surprising that two movies nominated to Oscars in 2013 were movies on unethical earning. The common American janta is perfectly fine if a fictional movie like American Hustle is based on a con-couple who make their money by cheating the general public at large. However if Marty makes a real life depiction of the Wolf of Wall street they make a lot of noise. How can they like one kind of fraud and not the other ? Maybe because Wolf was a real person. But the movies made on these real people don’t loot your money, instead they give value for your money spent on the movie. Every cent!
Moving away from my obsession on the Wolf, I would write a few lines on American Hustle. The movie portrays the early 60’s – 70’s life in New Jersey where corruption and gangsters play a large role in everyday life. The movie is fast paced in few frames but is painfully slow in some frames too. There is no retiring conman stories of one last and big robbery and then moving on in life. The leading con couple play in the hands of federal agents for a while and then they buy their permanent immunity in the end but ultimately conning the FBI itself ! This scene is worth watching.
It definitely has a gripping storyline and keeps you glued to your seats till the end. But 10 Oscar nominations is a bit too much.
Christian Bale getting nominated for best actor is definitely justified. He plays Irving who even wears a wig to cover his bald head. Amy Adams plays his lady love while Jennifer Lawrence plays his wife. The way he adjusts his spectacles, the way he walks, the way he talks everything works. His dressing sense too. He is not pushing too hard to get the girls but his confidence plays a big role in getting the girls and also getting the money when he is conning around.
Amy Adams looks hot and plays convincingly well. She is a strong contender for the best actress award. What surprises me is that why Jennifer Lawrence is undoubtedly the darling of the academy. Her role is pretty funny and she plays it with ease but that’s not academy award material.
Bradley cooper extends his Hangover performance where he looks lost most of the time. He is the ambitious federal agent who does not mind bad mouthing his boss and even attacking him if he tries to stop his progress. The party scene where he enacts his boss is the funniest.
Overall watch this Hustle if you want a few lessons in conning people. Good job David O Russell you seem to understand the pulse of the Academy awards. Silver linings playbook also got nominated in 2012 but Life of pi took away the best direction award. Maybe the Academy is conning you into this?
–Varun Gowtham Mannava.