Hustlers Movie Review Rating: 3/5 Stars (Three stars)
Star Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Lizzo, Cardi B
Director: Lorene Scafaria
What’s Good: The atmosphere created to transport us to the world of strippers is mind-bending, also Jennifer Lopez can do all of this at 50 makes me question my existence
What’s Bad: Once you’re transported to that world, you’re pulled out too soon to go through an emotional ride which isn’t very smooth
Loo Break: JLo’s soaring presence will not let you take any break
Watch or Not?: Watch it for the earnest performances and go in without reading any international reviews
The non-linear story, beautifully transits between 2007 and 2014, showcasing the events before and after The Great Recession of The United States. The main plot contains the booming era of Strip Clubs in the US. Ramona (Jennifer Lopez), the master-dancer knows all the tricks of how to seduce the viewers. She mentors the newbie Destiny (Constance Wu) bonding up to a level where they become soul sisters. Ramona is fierce & extremely passionate about what she does; that makes her the star-dancer bringing in the maximum cash.
Recession strikes in 2008 and people don’t want to spend any more money in the clubs, on the dancers. This is when Ramona channels her inner Jordan Belfort and teaches the tricks to her sisters including Destiny, Mercedes (Keke Palmer) and Annabelle (Lili Reinhart). The tricks work but the girls know they’re doing an immoral act. The rest is all about how they’re exposed and how they handle that expose.
Hustlers Movie Review: Script Analysis
Adapted from Jessica Pressler’s viral piece titled as ‘The Hustlers At Scores’ speaks everything the article’s subtitle reads – “Here’s a modern Robin Hood story for you: a few strippers who stole from (mostly) rich, (usually) disgusting, (in their minds) pathetic men and gave to, well, themselves.” Lorene Scafaria’s screenplay is far from being perfect. After a blazing first hour, all starts dragging because of the dull narrative.
It has many moments which could’ve been done better. For eg. There’s a scene in which the journalist, who’s noting down the case for her article, shuts down her recorder and the volume goes mute for no reason. Lorene could’ve linked that to another scene to make us believe everything we heard was from that recording. The story is an ‘immoral act’ under an ‘immoral act’ and there were more ways than attempted to attain the emotional connect.
Hustlers Movie Review: Star Performance
Jennifer Lopez is obviously the star-performer. From the way she looks to the way she moves makes me question only one thing – “WHY NO MORE MOVIES?” I mean, she can take mediocre movies like Maid In Manhattan or Angel Eyes and elevate them with her performance, Hustlers is still solid at the scripting stage.
Constance Wu acts like she’s not acting at all! After a memorable performance in Crazy Rich Asians, she’s a charmer in Hustlers. The athletic portions were majorly performed by JLo but Wu made sure she accompanied her well. Julia Stiles as the journalist gets no scope to act, she’s just about decent. From the other strippers, Lili Reinhart as Annabelle does the best job followed by Keke Palmer as Mercedes. Cardi B is royally sidelined.
Hustlers Movie Review: Direction, Music
Lorene Scafaria’s direction is a smooth sail! If we look through the lazy screenplay, the direction is a level up. She gels up well with Kayla Emter’s editing to make sure the pace is tight (in the first half at least). She binds together the solid performances, brilliant production design, a half-baked screenplay to make this one a watchable fare.
This could’ve been easily turned into a musical if the writers would’ve tweaked the emotions towards the end. It covers many classics from Fiona Apple’s Criminal, Lorde’s Royals and hell even Michael Jackson’s They Don’t Care About Us. The musical portions are handled very beautifully & it’s a treat to listen to so many brilliant songs on-screen with JLo as their face.
Hustlers Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, it’s definitely a good movie but criminally overhyped. Jennifer Lopez is a goddess and she has refused to age a single day since her debut. This could’ve had stuff more than just an article making it a partly fictional story.
Hustlers releases on 26th September, 2019.
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