Earlier this year a video surface of Cardi B saying she used to drug and rob men while she was a stripper.
When I went to see Hustlers last night, this story popped up in my head. I feel as though the film was the representation of that. Then there’s the actual Hustler’s article that the film is actually based on.
Money, Drugs, Sex, and Power. A movie about four strippers who go rogue and start drugging their clients? ehhhhhh. Sounds very sketchy. Very corny. Hard to make likable. Somehow Hustlers pulls it off. It certainly helps that it has a kickass female all star cast. Cardi B, Keke Palmer, Lizzo, Constance Wu, Julia Stiles, Lili Reinhart, Usher and Fucking Jennifer Lopez.
Lets take a moment and appreciate JLO. She was a spicy mami hot tamale. She stole every scene. Her gaze eye captivated the screen. Her body looks GOODT. Like Damn ma’m, are you sure you’re 50? I couldn’t tell watching this. She plays the brains of the whole operation to blinded by her greed to stop. Tbh, go see this film just to see her.
Alright, alright back to the film. You can read the article to essentially spoil it for yourself. The film does a great job of immersing you into their world. It’s a fun film, it’s glossy. It’s cute. It paints the perpetrators as likable. It’s cringe at times. It never gets too dark. It doesn’t glorify their crimes nor does it villainize them. They all have their reasons. Some of the girls have kids. Some has incarcerated partners. Some have debt. They get fed up with the dudes degrading them and no reward. So they take $200,00 from 4 men. Well there were more victims, but only 4 men bold enough to testify. Mind you, it’s based on a true story.
We mainly watch it through Constance Wu’s characters eyes. She starts off the film mesmerized by JLO’s beauty, confidence, and finesse. She gets suckered into her world and antics. She can’t help it. Then she realizes she’s way in over her head on what she thought was going on – Just like us. It paints a very telling story of what female friendship looks like when it gets toxic. How money is easy come, easy go. How fragile egos are. Movies always portray strip clubs as this lusty, erotic place filled with bimbos. This film works to change that narrative. It makes the women multi dimensional. It gives them names, stories, motivation, children and more. They are just trying to claw their way to the top. Lizzo playing the flute is too cute. Cardi being Cardi was enjoyable and very on brand for this film.
I’m not going to lie, critics are saying this deserves an Oscar already. I think Jlo does. The film itself is great because it balances the line of fun and somber very well. Will I watch it over and over again? No. Did I learn anything? Yeah men are dumb. How you get robbed for 20K at a strip club and keep going back? Is it a 10/10? No, lets call it solid 7.
“This whole country’s a strip club. Some are throwing the money. Some are doing the dance”