This is a very powerful emotional film that exceeds all expectations.
Before the economic crash that occurred in 2008, many New York strippers were making a handsome living in high end clubs where Wall Street executives had more money than sense. However, after the crash, Wall Street financial resources dried up. Hustlers focuses on that issue as four strippers form a team where they drug the booze of wealthy patrons and proceed to empty their credit card accounts.
As you watch the story unfold, the cast is led by the magnificent performance of Jennifer Lopez, here playing the stripper Ramona. No one is better at her craft, and she befriends Destiny (Constance Wu), a young stripper seeking to perfect her skill. The two of them then are joined by Cardi B, known as Diamond, and Julia Stiles, appearing as Elizabeth, and their group became one mean foursome.
The movie has a first rate musical score that adds to the film’s momentum. When they are confronted by patrons who discover that their credit card account has been emptied, Ramona deals with them in a dismissive tone, knowing full well that they could never go public and expose their dark side.
While there is some provocative pole dancing, particularly by Ms. Lopez, the film really tells the story of greed and shamelessness that has infiltrated our capitalistic system. Many Wall Street wheeler-dealers love to throw thousands of dollars away on strippers who would then handle them in a fashion that made them think that the girls really cared if they lived or died.
Though the law would eventually catch up with them, Ms. Lopez’s Ramona was one smart and perceptive cookie. She made the perceptive observation that our entire country functions as an intricate stripper organization where men buy influence.
In the process, I couldn’t help but think of the late Jeffery Epstein, the sexual history of our President, Harvey Weinstein and Robert Kraft.
Ramona was right.