#Film Review: Hustlers

Director: Lorene Scafaria

Rating: 4/5

This film is based on a true story of strippers who were robbing rich men by drugging them. The story first broke in the New York Times when Jessica Pressler wrote an article “The Hustlers at Scores: The Ex-Strippers Who Stole From (Mostly) Rich Men and Gave to, Well, Themselves”.

I have to say that enjoyed this film even though it is not something I normally watch. The film follows the life of a group of strippers with the most prominent character being Ramona (Jennifer Lopez). The film is centred around a journalist Elizabeth who is writing a story about Dorothy, known as Destiny, and her life as a stripper. The film is, therefore, narrated through Dorothy’s voice (Constance Wu) and she tells a story of having to work as a stripper to support herself and her elderly grandmother. Since she was unable to earn decent money, she starts a friendship with Ramona who teaches her how to do stripping in a way that makes men throw money at her. Since many of the men who come to the stripping club are from the Wall Street, the financial crisis of 2007-2008 wipes their wealth and the strippers lose clients so they start going to posh places looking for rich men who they then seduce, drug and rob. Eventually, they get caught due to Ramona’s insistence of accepting new girls into the group, which was a good idea as the original gang was already getting known, however, her judgement fails with one of the girls who turned out to be a drug addict who collaborates with the police to spare herself.

The film is a mix of action, excitement and glamour as well as a critique of the society in which rich men seek fun with poor women and throw money at them. However, the film is a critique of the new rich men who were portrayed as more brutal than the previous ones, and thus the film offers a narrative of stripping being the victim of the economic supply-demand situation and the effect this had on women. However, the film also has a light feminist touch because these women, especially Ramona, are portrayed as badass, afraid of nothing to get where they want to be and there is plenty of trash talk and showing off. While Ramona character can be seen as masculine, she also has a feminine touch and looks after her girls. So, the story is a mix of badass and femininity showing that each woman can be both tough and soft, as necessary, but ultimately that real women look after other women, which is why you simply have to like Ramona despite her mastering the vicious plan to drug and steal.

A good watch, totally recommended.

Thank you for reading.

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