I’m never a big fan when Studios decide to put singers in movies. Sometimes, it can work, but more often than not it’s a gimmick that the studio uses to get more people into the theater. Obviously it worked well with Lady Gaga last year with A Star is Born, which was a movie she was great in and blew everyone including me away. Early buzz came out of this film for Jennifer Lopez’s performance as a strip dancer who stole from her rich clients from Wall Street. And she is truly terrific in this film, she gives a lot to her performance and you can tell that she is invested in the source materiel that the film is trying to tell. She steals every scene she is in, and she is still strikingly beautiful for a woman that approaches 50.
Constance Wu is also very good in the film and her chemistry with Lopez is on point and that’s where I cared the most. Their friendship that lasted throughout the years and what drove them to commit the crimes that they did. Their relationship and how it affected their families was the most interesting part of Hustlers for me and director Lorene Scafaria directed the shit out of this film. The film flows really well and while I was enjoying the film more prior to the 2008 financial crash, where Constance Wu ‘s character is discovering how to become as good a dancer as Ramona, the second part showed us how the girls stole their client’s money and how they got away with it.
It does show how far desperate people try to go when they have no choice. It does show the ugly side of life, how money is given too much importance over our lives and how it’s hard to get out a terrible situation once you’re in it for the long run.
As for negatives, the second act like I mentioned is a bit repetitive. The women are seducing the men and stealing their money hence and repeat and while there are entertaining scenes in the second act, it does get awfully monotonous. The ending as well is a bit glossy and Hollywoodized for my taste.
There are consequences for these women’s actions but it doesn’t feel as important to the overall narrative. It feels very glossed over and for the story that really happened and where people were really affected by it, it could have done the source materiel it a little more justice and still be an entertaining film.
Overall, Hustlers is a really good film with a terrific cast and an Oscar-Worthy performance from Jennifer Lopez, swift direction despite the story being a little too polished.