‘American Hustle’ plot confusing but acting spectacular

Poster used under Fair Use Doctrine

Poster used under Fair Use Doctrine

Trisha Chaudhary

Poster used under Fair Use Doctrine
Image used under the Fair Use Doctrine
Since the trailers came out, American Hustle has had everything going for it. With a director that previously made the Oscar-nominated film, Silver Linings Playbook, and starring Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games), Amy Adams (Man of Steel), Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook) and Christian Bale (The Dark Knight), the movie gleams with the promise of greatness. So obviously I went in with high expectations.
Set in the ’70s, the movie’s plot centers on the lives of con-man Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and his accomplice Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams). The two have a fake loan company in which Prosser pretends to be a British woman — lady Edith Greensly — who has “connections in London” that will loan people money. They charge a fee of $5,000 from each customer with the “guarantee” of giving back $30,ooo-$50,000. Everything is going swimmingly until Richie DeMaso (Bradley Cooper) comes for a loan and turns out to be an undercover FBI agent who arrests Prosser.
In a deal made with the FBI, Rosenfeld and Prosser have to make four more cons in exchange for Prosser’s release. Here is where the confusion began. Maybe I missed an important line somewhere along the way, but to me it was never clear why the FBI wanted Prosser and Rosefeld to make four more cons. At first I thought it was just DeMaso trying to get a little extra money in his pocket, but his supervisors seemed to be in on the deal. But I thought maybe if I just kept watching, it would all make sense in the end.
The plot continues to thicken as Rosenfeld, Prosser and the FBI concoct a plan to trap the New Jersey mayor in a con and arrest him for corruption. As the story continues and grows messier, more government officials and even a senator somehow become involved, as well as the Florida mafia.
Now in an attempt not to give away the ending, I won’t reveal the true source of my confusion. I really did think I was beginning to understand what was happening in the movie until about the last 10 minutes, when it all got rather confusing. And after the film, while I sat contemplating the supposed “plot twist,” I still didn’t really understand what had happened. Now I know that you’re probably thinking that I might just be exceptionally slow at comprehension, but even the other two (relatively sound of mind) people I went to see American Hustle with didn’t quite understand the plot.
Despite the bewildering plot, the acting is undeniably superb. The amount of weight Christian Bale gained for the role is remarkable enough, but his acting was out of this world. Maybe it’s just that I’m not used to seeing him play a character that isn’t Batman (and maybe I doubted his ability a little), but I was truly blown away by the seemingly effortless way that he embraced the persona of Irving Rosenfeld: a slightly eccentric, overweight New Jersey native. Jennifer Lawrence plays his wife — Rosalyn Rosenfeld — and serves as the comedic relief in the movie. She is a completely irresponsible, manipulative and typically dumb Jersey girl who thinks she has it all figured out, but really is just one huge, hot mess.
Bradley Cooper proved himself in Silver Linings Playbook, so I had a lot of faith in him, and he definitely didn’t disappoint either. He played a trademark young, over-eager FBI agent who lives in Jersey with his mother and a fiance who she picked out for him. His faux-curly hair, deep V-necks, and gaudy cross necklace all contribute to his gem of a character. An awkward love triangle or rather love rectangle serves for a hilarious but dramatic sub-plot with affairs running rampant.
Though there isn’t much to be said about the plot or what the point of the movie was, I would recommend going to see American Hustle just for the spectacular acting. And maybe if you go see it, you could even explain it to me.
By Trisha Chaudhary 
Have you seen ‘American Hustle?’ What did you think?