By looking at the “Hustlers” cast, one would think it is the latest hit song, with names attached including Jennifer Lopez, Cardi B, Lizzo, Keke Palmer and G-Eazy; however, the film provides much more than familiar faces.
With an all female cast, “Hustlers” is an empowering film, but at times the film can seem overly feminine or that it does not apply to a general audience. The film’s idea is that these women will take control of the men on Wall Street who have been degrading them for years.
The audience is presented Dorothy, played by Constance Wu, an exotic dancer in her early 20s trying to provide for her grandmother. She struggles with adjusting to her new job in Queens, New York. Ramona, played by Jennifer Lopez, is a top performer at the club, and takes Dorothy under her wing.
Ramona shows her the ropes of exotic dancing in this new area. Other performers of the club are played by the likes of Lili Reinhart, Cardi B, Lizzo and Keke Palmer. However, the celebrity names at times feel overwhelming, as if they were added to the story strictly for the sake of their name.
The Great Recession hit in 2008, and Dorothy is forced to leave the club and take care of her child. After some time, Dorothy and Ramona are later reunited at the club, but this time things are different.
Before, their relationship had been more of teacher to student and now they are both mothers trying to provide for their children. This gives the audience more empathy for the people on screen and justifies their actions. These new responsibilities force them to devise their new way of making money: to drug men and steal their money.
The events in the film are relayed by Dorothy in an interview with her and Jennifer, who is played by Julia Stiles. Jennifer is trying to write a story on the women who took control of the men on Wall Street. This interview takes away a lot of possible suspense in the movie, but it allows for another story to take place in their dialogue.
Overall, “Hustlers” portrays these events in an unbiased manner. The film does a good job of showing how accustomed these girls were to this sleazy lifestyle, even with obligations such as boyfriends and children.
It shows the lows of exotic dancing, and it may give somebody a new mindset on the topic. However, even with the household names in this film, it is clearly intended for a feminine audience.