Sunday, October 6, 2019

HUSTLERS review ***

Directed by -       Lorene Scafaria
Produced by -     Jessica Elbaum, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Jennifer Lopez
Cast -                    Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Lizzo, Cardi B              

Rating                  ***

By Pinakee Rattan Sher

From the point of view of the lead characters in the film, it can be implied that 'hustling a way of life'. A group of strippers, unable to sustain themselves post recession, resort to fleecing rich men by meeting them, drugging them and then stealing their money by using their credit cards.  It works for them and they earn enough to meet their needs. And their scheming is perfect. Destiny (Constance Wu), Ramona Vega (Jennifer Lopez), Mercedes (Keki Palmer), Annabelle (Lili Reinhart) are the members. Ramona is the torchbearer in this mission.
The movie begins with the usual world of strip club, Moves and we see how money flies like a dust in the club. Wall street men and CEO's come and enjoy and spend money ostentatiously on the strippers.  We get into life of a stripper Destiny who has to take care of her grandmother. She is not earning enough until she meets Ramona Vega, who takes her into her wings and gives her the tips how to make men throw money lavishly on her. The sequence where Ramona gives tips to Destiny about the pole dancing is one of the best sequences of the movie. After this, Destiny and Ramona share a nice bonding which continues. But the business is hit when recession creeps in. Stripping business goes for a toss and the strippers have a tough time to fulfill their needs and maintain their lifestyle. And that is when Ramona takes the lead and the rest of the move deals with how she along with other strippers start getting loads of money by luring rich men and cheating them.
Hustlers has been shot well and the performances are apt. We get into the world of strippers and see how their life is in a way same like us. They have their own struggles and problems and what we see them doing as part of their profession is just a way of earning money. In the role of stripper Ramona, Jennifer Lopez conveys her philosophies that are relatable in the context of present world. First one is - 'wall street guys loot money of hard-working people and looting such guys is not wrong'. When Ramona and others are arrested near the end, she utters the second one - 'the whole country is a strip club and everybody is dancing'. Lopez has carried the film on her shoulders till the end. Her charm and her oomph is evident in every frame. The way she tries to maintain bonding with her fellow strippers, like a family, is beauty of the film. Hustlers takes us behind the scenes of the life of strippers. The film could've been chopped a bit but still it is worth a watch. 

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