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  • Writer's pictureMax Markowitz


Honest And Smart

At the outset of the film, it is noted that Hustlers is based on a true story. I don’t know how accurate Hustlers is in the portrayal of characters but I felt that the film felt authentic and honest in the telling of the story through the unfolding of the events.

Working as a stripper to make ends meet, Dorothy’s (Constance Wu) life changes forever when she meets Ramona, (Jennifer Lopez) the clubs top money earner. Ramona shows Dorothy how to navigate her way around the wealthy Wall Street clientele who frequent the club. The 2008 economic collapse soon cuts into their profits, leading the girls along with two other dancers (Lili Reinhart and Keke Palmer) to devise a daring scheme to take their lives back.

Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez worked very well together but their acting is not what got Hustlers the good film reviews it has received. What makes Hustlers a good film is how it’s set up. It’s set up more like a documentary than a feature film, sort of like how The Big Short was set up. Not every audience is going to appreciate this style. I think a lot of people were expecting a feature film that’s a comedy above all else but that’s not the case.

The film Hustlers has a lot of funny moments but not as much as you’d like there to be. Hustlers turns darker as it goes on and it’s more of an educational film about how hurt people hurt people. I thought Hustlers was wonderful. I appreciate how it was set up but if you want what you saw in the trailer, you’ll only get a little bit of it. The trailer does not do the ending justice.

Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez gave good performances but Hustlers as a whole is stronger than the acting. This is not to say the acting is bad. It’s not bad but it didn’t resonate with me the way Hustlers did as a whole. The portrayal of Dorothy and Ramona’s struggles and what they did about it was a bigger part of Hustlers than their friendship. Hustlers is a film about actions and events, not feelings and emotions.

The men in Hustlers are hard to watch because they behave so terribly but seeing them get scammed was liberating. There’s a scene where a police officer finds out they were drugged and says that one of them must have liked it. Some of the scam scenes are very funny while others are more about seeing the ladies layout their operation and execute their plan to get what they think they rightly deserve. Some of the characters have mixed emotions about scamming the men but Ramona as the ringleader is quick to remind them that if they don’t do it someone else will. She tugs on their heartstrings reminding them about their financial responsibilities to aging parents and small children under their care.

Overall, I truly appreciated Hustlers and I for one wouldn’t object to seeing it again. I appreciated the film's ability to showcase the pain, pride and grueling work of the life of a Stripper and the injustice of an industry dominated by men who see these women only as objects of pleasure and moneymakers. I have seen a number of movies of late where the trailer does not accurately depict the movie and I feel compelled to share with readers that what you see is not always what you get. Again, I don’t mind this but some audiences might. I would strongly advise those audiences to see Hustlers anyway because it’s a smart film about a subject that does not get a lot of attention and the laughable moments will stay with you.

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