I’d gone on quite the journey with Hustlers before I’d even seen the film. The first thing I knew about the movie was the ad on the side of my local bus which made it look like a comedy in the vein of Girls Trip or Rough Night.
Then I heard the Mark Kermode review which suggested the film was closer to an Ocean’s 8 style re-telling of a true story. Thanks to a few clips I’d seen online I got a wondered if it could be another neon noir. Well, it was none of those things.
What’s the Story?
Hustlers tells the story of how a group of strippers deal with the impact of the 2007-2008 Financial Crisis and its aftermath. With fewer men visiting the club, and those who do spending less money, the women’s attempts to drum up business soon turns criminal.
While the above maybe the plot of the film, the actual story is about female friendship, found family and a quite brutal view of American Capitalist Society. As Jennifer Lopez‘s Ramona says in the film:
This city, this whole country, is a strip club. You’ve got people tossing the money, and people doing the dance.
Much of the talk around the film has been about the quality of Lopez’s performance. However, the rest of the cast is as good with Constance Wu matching JLO throughout, as the film’s main character Destiny. It would be unfair if Lopez got award recognition and Wu didn’t.
Is Hustlers Neon Noir?
If you compare it to supposed Neon Noir movies like Drive and Under the Skin, then I’d say why not. Hustlers certainly uses more neon than those two movies. However, I wouldn’t say it is in a noir fashion. The pink, blue and purple hues of the club are more the colours of a location rather than a cinematic technique running through the whole movie.
Is Hustlers any good?
This is the most important question, and the answer is yes. It is a drama about female friendship and a good one at that. All the main characters are well round, flawed individuals who you still care for. It has its tough moments and doesn’t shy away from some nastier parts of the sex industry. However, it doesn’t mean it is a tough film as it is full of witty dialogue and funny sequences. Overall, Hustlers is a good, fun, interesting film and I would recommend it.