hustlers - review
It’s 2007 and a group of dancers are tired of being taken advantage of by Wall Street wankers. So, Ramona (Jennifer Lopez) and Destiny (Constance Wu) take matters into their own hands.
Based on, and faithful to, a 2015 New York Magazine article by Jessica Pressler, Hustlers is, at the heart of everything, a story about power. Told from a group, who most of the time in films and wider media, are stripped of everything that makes them powerful. These women won’t be found dead in an alleyway, draped across boardrooms, or be a character arc for a man that needs redemption.
Whilst the chemistry between Lopez and Wu was undeniable, there can be no doubts that this was the Jennifer show, and boy, did she come to play. This was easily one of Lopez’s best performances, stealing every scene she stomped into.
With the financial crisis as a backdrop, the pacing of the film is the only thing that viewers might struggle with. Cutting between a magazine interview and the retelling of the story, the entire film is comprised of flashback sequences. The film wraps a little abruptly, but, I feel the interpretive element was a very conscious choice from writer-director - Lorene Scafaria.
Another huge nod needs to be given to the costume department. Lopez spends most of the film draped in an array of gigantic fur coats, whilst Wu’s school drop off ensemble of crop tops and Lara Croft trousers will become iconic.
All in all, Hustlers is one of the most surprising must-see film of 2019.