For a movie about strippers turning to a life of crime, “Hustlers” surprisingly hits on some dark and deep topics. Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu star in Hustlers, which tells the real-life story of Samantha Barbash and Roselyn Keo, who were tried and pleaded guilty of conspiracy, assault, and grand larceny in 2017.
“Hustlers” is told in a very similar way to how the film came to be. The story was told from Destiny’s, a character played by Constance Wu, perspective as she told the story to a journalist played by Julia Stiles. Every so often the screen would come back to Destiny telling the story in a stark, white, living room. It would then cut back to the warm-lit streets of Manhattan, and the strip club they worked at. This showed the contrast between the world Destiny used to be a part of, and how her life is different now.
The part about the film that was surprising was how deep it got. The movie heavily emphasized the rough childhood Destiny had and how this affected her. The film also got deep at the end of the movie showing how close Ramona, played by Jennifer Lopez, and Destiny were. The movie also had a very strong theme of family and the importance of family for a not-so-family-appropriate film.
In the movie, the main plot is about these women, Ramona and Destiny, who start as strippers, but then find a way to drug and scam wealthy Wall Street men into stealing money from them. Their group grows to two more people and eventually their operation gets so big, they get even more women. But the core group is Ramona and Destiny, as well as two other strippers Mercedes, played by Keke Palmer, and Annabelle, played by Lili Reinhart. The film emphasizes the sisterhood these girls had and how it made their operation work even more to their advantage.
One thing that was a little off about the movie was how it was marketed. In almost all the trailers Cardi-B and Lizzo were shown as leads in the movie, alongside Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu. But it was, in fact, the opposite. Cardi-B had a few lines but didn’t appear in the movie past the first half, and Lizzo was in a short clip of the film and barely had any lines. While Keke Palmer wasn’t marketed for being in the movie at all, and they showed barely any scenes of Lili Reinhart in the trailer, but both were huge supporting roles.
The end of “Hustlers” leaves viewers feeling emotional, and also shows a different side of the story. “Hustlers” help open people’s eyes to the stripping community and how challenging it can be but also shows the consequences of committing crimes, even though the crimes are glamorized at the beginning of the film.
Overall, “Hustlers” is an amazing movie that not only tells a good story but has an emotional and deeper background that will leave the movie on viewers minds.
Savannah Rude // Staff Writer