Corrupt politicians, con men and Christian Bale with a comb-over, what more could you want? American Hustle, a film directed by David O. Russell, is a comedy-drama that is loosely based off of the FBI ABSCAM operation in the late 1970’s.
Just about all movies today have some element of comedy that you wouldn’t have expected a decade ago. Unfortunately, this humor often feels misplaced in action or drama films. American Hustle manages to pull it off in a unique way by making comedy one of its main concerns. Mostly it comes from crazy people in crazy situations that are strangely relatable to the viewer.
By being based on ABSCAM it is able to poke fun at the political distrust of the time. Surprisingly, the film manages to make you feel compassion to all groups involved, including the politicians that would’ve gone down in history as corrupt and immoral.
The actors do a tremendous job playing characters that may seem shallow at first but are very complex and emotional people. Christian Bale does a particularly great job of playing a character that has some rather twisted morals but is still very relatable.
The film features a large amount of plot twists. It can cause some confusion on what exactly happened, and leads to a distrust of the characters that the viewer at one point might have been rooting for. This was probably intentional in order for the viewer to feel the suspicion and mistrust the characters are experiencing in the movie.
All of the characters that play important roles were shown to have major flaws that came up whenever they had to make difficult decisions. They are also shown to have skill sets that make each character unique. Ultimately, every character is shown to be human. There are no real antagonists in the film; they’re all just real people with real problems.
This film is definitely one of the better movies of recent years, and has rather memorable moments that would be hard to forget.