So yes this review is coming out a bit late with the film coming out about two weeks ago but I had a busy few weeks/ I realise I haven’t released a review since August and have fallen grossly behind but I’m back in the swing of things and will start releasing content regularly once more.
Amsterdam, was an interesting murder mystery that used it’s period setting, stellar cast and historical ties to create an engaging story that can also meander at times..
Amsterdam was an interesting murder mystery that definitely kept me engaged through the majority of the runtime and I was constantly wondering where the story was going. So honestly, I was hyped for this movie but that was mostly due to the cast which was jam-packed with A-list actors who I was excited to see work off one another. I had little idea of the plot or the main intrigue of the film except that it took place post World War 1.
So to start with what I enjoyed about the film I thought the acting was excellent for nearly every character we see. The main three Christian Bale, John David Washington, and Margot Robbie were all great and I loved their chemistry and scenes together. The supporting cast brought a lot of energy and humour as well with Chris Rock, Mike Myers, and Robert De Niro being the standouts to me. My overall favourite character was Burt played by Christian Bale who I thought was the stand-out. He had so many curious and interesting mannerisms and the distinct feature of the glass eye plus I love the energy that Bale brings to the role. He is charismatic, awkward and funny consistently throughout the whole film and he brings the whole thing together.
To talk about the story, we see that our two male leads Burt and Harold are framed for the deaths of the daughter of an old military colleague of theirs and they spend the film as they try to clear their name while uncovering a much bigger plot at the center of these events. Along the way, we learn the backstory of our characters through flashbacks and they have many chance encounters with interesting characters. It sounds pretty straightforward as murder mysteries go but the execution of this film is not straightforward mostly and I find it fascinating how this film presents everything. The use of narration is a key aspect of this film that I thought really gave a good framing device and sometimes humour to the whole film.
The flashbacks are well used to establish how our characters met and what their relationships prior to the present are.
I feel that the use of pauses and quiet moments are important as well as it is not non-stop dialogue and the space in between the dialogue and the way they also use some quieter moments make this film different than a lot of mainstream films these days. I like how this film does not shy away from gore or violence as this is a pretty violent film overall. On the negative side, this movie does meander at times and it can feel like the plot stops for character interactions that don’t further the plot or characters all too much. As well, there are plenty of detours that seem to lead to nowhere. I also found that the ties to real-life history kept me engaged as a history buff and I really like how in the background there were constant references to what was going on and a lot of it were hints that could have helped you figure out what was going to happen and who were the important characters.
So yeah, all in all, I enjoyed the film and it’s one I would probably watch at least once more. It might be a bit artsier than a lot of films I consume but between a stellar cast and an engaging plot, it is one you might want to tune into.