Amsterdam (12) |Close-Up Film Review

Dir: David O.Russell, US, 2022, 134 mins.

Cast: Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Taylor Swift, Rami Malekber, Anya Taylor-Joy, Robert DeNiro

Review by Carlie Newman

It’s a spot the stars sort of film! Amsterdam is an amusing film with a somber historical background. Great in showing the period – 1930s New York – and the many stars, some of whom only appear briefly – are dressed accordingly, but there is a bit of confusion with different story lines and time zones.

The three main characters are: Dr Burt Berendsen (Christian Bale), who has lost an eye in the first world war. He is now a doctor in New York, helping veterans free. Burt’s friend from their time in Amsterdam in the war is Harold Woodman (John David Washington), now a qualified lawyer. Their mutual very close friend, and Harold’s girlfriend is Valerie Voze (Margot Robbie), who, as a volunteer nurse in the first world war, saved pieces of shrapnel from injured and dead soldiers to create very peculiar art objects.

The three friends witness the very strange death of a general’s daughter (Taylor Swift). When the trio are accused of the murder, they have to race around desperately trying to prove their innocence. While Harold and Burt attempt to find evidence that they were not the perpetrators of a crime, two somewhat hopeless policemen (Alessandro Nivola and Matthias Schoenaerts) pursue them. Eventually they meet up with General Gil Dillenbach (excellent Robert De Niro) who helps them.

Also in the picture are Andrea Risborough as Beatrice the very well dressed, but snobbish wife of Burt and Rami Malik gives a slick performance as Valerie’s rich brother with Anya Taylor-Joy as his bossy wife. The main trio of Bale, John David Washington and Margot Robbie work well together and have good chemistry between them.

The real fascist plot against the American Government serves as a sobering background to the otherwise chirpy, but somewhat muddled film directed by David O Russell.