Women at the poles: Rashid Irani reviews Hustlers
In her most magnetic performance since Out of Sight (1998), Jennifer Lopez portrays the ringleader of a group of pole dancers who fleece Wall Street high rollers of their ill-gotten wealth in this rollercoaster romp.
Inspired by a New York magazine article, the true-life tale of strip club employees impacted by the financial crisis of 2008, Hustlers conjures a sly feminist vibe.
Written and directed by a woman, Lorena Scafaria, the female-centric crime caper unfolds from the vantage point of a newbie dancer (Constance Wu) who performs under the stage name of Destiny.
An emotional connection is quickly established with veteran stripper Ramona (Jennifer Lopez, still drop-dead gorgeous at 50) who takes the struggling single mother under her wing.
Before long, the duo devises a sure-fire scheme to tide over their depleted cash flow. Expectedly, events spiral out of control leading to a morally ambiguous, bittersweet finale.
Apart from the two perfectly cast leads, there are a bevy of stellar supporting actresses including Lili Reinhart and Keke Palmer as their outsourced accomplices.
A flashy Robin Hood-ish drama of female empowerment, Hustlers is recommended viewing.