Here are 8 reasons Hustlers is the must-see movie of the summer:
- Fantastic (Female) Four
Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinheart — four of the women who make up the savvy group turning the tables on their Wall Street clients. If this list of powerhouse females doesn’t convince you, then I should also list that Lizzo, Cardi B and Julia Stiles are also part of the film. Who runs the world? GIRLS.
- We all need some lovin’!
This movie goes beyond the cookie-cutter mold in portraying the harsh realities of our world. “Hustlers” doesn’t just scratch the surface, they bring you to the very core and root of it all.The movie focuses on the Wall Street crash in 2008. This affected so many lives, and this film takes you back to that time — the irrational choices these women make to get by have you rooting for them.Ramona, played by Jennifer Lopez, and Destiny, played by Constance Wu, have an unbreakable bond many of us can relate to. We all have or had a Ramona in our lives, a confident, intelligent, spontaneous friend. Maybe we are the Ramona! But others can relate to Destiny, also brilliant, but logical and strategical. While their relationship is complicated, their friendship speaks to the fact that we humans need love and support above all material things.
- Lorde, oh Lorde
The emotions you feel throughout the movie are enhanced by its soundtrack. The songs are chosen with a fine-toothed comb. Every song, every lyric that made the cut was placed to cause a reaction from the audience, and it works.Toward the end of the film, there is a perfect example of the use of lyrics. “Royals” by Lorde plays, and the song fades in and out, but the two lines that stick out are
We didn’t come from money.
Let me live that fantasy.
The songs and their lyrics, like this one, combined with the powerful script and acting is a piece of work worth watching.
How many movies have you seen with a full female cast? Not many.This movie isn’t just about strippers. It’s more than that. Life lessons, friendships, and pay gaps, just to name a few. The film recognizes the complexities we have as human beings, and how we are all just trying to get by. Moreso, “Hustlers” focuses on the multitude of female perspectives, one that isn’t given much time in the spotlight. The cast genuinely represents our society — women of color. It’s quite refreshing to see the spectrum of color on screen. The industry is slowly catching on, and it’s because of producers and directors acknowledging that these stories need to be told. What better way than to have females writing, directing, and acting them? That’s what “Hustlers” brings to the table.
- Angles, angles, angles
The scenes are shot from all points of view. There are moments where you catch an angle from up top, from scenes inside the strip club alluding to the male gaze, for example. These shots, though subtle, are still compelling. The ladies’ feelings of helplessness in these moments transcended across the screen.
- Not just a backdrop!
The lights, set, and costumes all bring the film to life. Anyone who watches will see that the production team had a vision, one that consisted of so much research.You feel like you’re at the center of it all. Production designer Jane Musky’s goal is “to help the audience experience the world of these women’s lives, their journey, and level of sophistication, through the design of the sets and color palette.”
While the movie will have you feeling a slew of emotion, one thing’s for sure: you’ll laugh. These women’s chemistry adds to the dynamic of each character. If you’ve seen their previous work, you’ll know that each actress has so much to offer.
- All about the HUSTLE
Last, but definitely not least. The theme of this movie will resonate among all ages, backgrounds, and genders because we all know some way or another what it means to hustle. Regardless of the circumstance, obstacles have tested us past our breaking points.
This city, this whole country, is a strip club. You’ve got people tossing the money, and people doing the dance.
This is, by far, my favorite line in the movie. One underlying theme in this whole film is that we live in a country of immigrants; those who came here to seek a better life. We see this woven through Destiny’s story, her life as the daughter of immigrants. The movie follows her journey and all its intricacies setting her back, but one lesson she learns is, “When you’re part of a broken system, you must hustle or be hustled.”
Decerry Donato was born and raised in San Gabriel Valley where she’s often seen with a camera in one hand and a boba drink in another. She graduated from UC Irvine with a Bachelor’s in Literary Journalism and minor in Asian American Studies. She frequents thrift stores and is an avid traveler. Twitter: @deardeezy Instagram: @intodeeseyes