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Amsterdam (2022) | Review

‘You gotta fight to protect kindness’

by Jana Neimanns

4/5 stars

Amsterdam is a historical movie with the right amount of drama and comedy, screened in the theatres in October 2022. It is set in 1930s America. Amsterdam was written and directed by David O. Russell, who has directed films such as Silver Lining in the past. The cast comprises three friends—Burt, Valerie and Harold— respectively interpreted by Christian Bale, Margot Robbie and John David Washington, who allll have had roles in popular movies before. In addition, the movie features other famous actors, such as Taylor Swift (daughter of the military officer).

After being hired by the daughter of an important military officer, two ex-veterans and their best friend go on a journey to find her father’s killer. When the daughter gets killed right in front of Burt and Harold, they have even more reason to find the killer. Here begins a race against time with a few surprising twists. One of the most interesting ones being that five fascist businessmen try to turn the presidency into a dictatorship.

Courtesy of IMDb

Christian Bale played Burt, one of the two veterans. He was in the war mostly because of his job as a doctor and after he came back he focused his career on helping veterans. Seeing as they didn’t get medical help easily at the time in the US, Burt was well loved in the veteran sphere. His role is a little eccentric and chaotic, but he is determined to find the killer. Bale played his part very authentically, so that the viewer couldn’t be anything less but convinced by his character. He fights for their goal to protect democracy and sensibly states ‘you gotta fight to protect kindness’.

A second aspect of the movie that I noticed was the way it was filmed. There was a lot of dialogue, which made it feel like real life. On the other hand, the movie was narrated by Burt, which resembled more a story being told. Altogether, Amsterdam was a great mixture of filmmaking devices.

Overall, I definitely enjoyed the movie. It was very funny and brought the viewer along on an adventure. However, there is something that makes me not want to give the movie a 5-star rating. Unfortunately, I cannot pinpoint what it is exactly. It might be the nature of the plot, of some trying to undermine democracy and thereby people’s free will. Nonetheless, it is worth watching, especially if you enjoy historical movies and those that support the patriarchal spirit of the US.


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