12/52 Books & 73/365:American Hustle:
I spent about £30 ($49.90 Google tells me) to see this film because of an unfortunate series of events that would be too boring to retell. But that doesn’t matter, because I have found my new favourite sub genre of film. Caper:
“The caper story is a subgenre of crime fiction. The typical caper story involves one or more crimes (especially thefts, swindles, or occasionally kidnappings) perpetrated by the main characters in full view of the reader. The actions of police or detectives attempting to prevent or solve the crimes may also be chronicled, but are not the main focus of the story.”
I’d seen Bank Job, Italian Job, Lock Stock and Two fat fucks backing him up… no wait, that’s a song, Smoking Barrels I mean. But this is my favourite, its quite complicated and does go on for a while but the basic story is that a troubled conman (who had the greatest idea when he was a kid, smashing peoples windows so that his dad could get paid to fix them, I wonder how man glaziers were looking at their sons thinking “hmmm” during that scene) meets a troubled woman and they go into the loan business, collecting fees to set up loans that don’t actually exist. Hey have a few sidelines in art and laundry and live happily for a while, until (I’m not going to ruin the ending, don’t worry) an agent, posing as a customer picks them up and says something along the lines of “If you get me four other criminals then I’ll let you off with a very short sentence”… that’s when things get out of hand.
The main problem is the agents excessive ambition, it’s almost like a what would happen if a maverick cop took loads of cocaine (he never really, but that’s how he was acting), got too ambitious and fucked the whole thing up. There were: Private Jet, Sheiks, Reclusive gangsters, Casino’s, millions of dollars, that really famous hotel on Central Park (I’ve forgotten its name) and many other things.
Including the mayor of Atlantic City, who’s life they ruined, he was a good guy really and he genuinely did care about the city (unlike most mayors, do any of you know who Boris Johnson is?) but he ends up descrased and in jail. To me that’s what this movie is about (maybe because the next film I’d watch at the cinema I watched was Wolf of Wall Street which equally discussed me in this manor), this who police practice of letting you off if you incriminate other people, this is an extreme example and quite complicated to explain, so take Wolf of Wall Street, we all know how many hundreds of millions of dollars he stole right? Well, he only got 22 months in jail (as oppose to 25 years) because he incriminated other criminals(COWARD), I don’t know who he incriminated but I doubt they would have been worse than him. Same with American Hustle, they were small time con artist, how long should they have got? 10 years? If the FBI was so smart they could easy get the other fellas on their own and this practice has gone on with murderers and stuff, its a very unethical and contradictory (to the justice system) practice to me.
Anyway, to add complexity to the story all of the characters are tortured and there is a complex romantic situation that I’m too hungry to explain. The defining feature of this film though is the production, its very glamorise in terms of the period and for some beautiful reason the colourist covered the whole film in a golden shimmer. It’s defiantly a great film to watch if you have the energy to keep up or you want to see Christian Bail in a hair piece.