HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Black Panther
Children's Hour, The
Mayhem
Sphere
Guyver, The
Night School
Loveless
Ragtime
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Murders in the Rue Morgue
Wound, The
Scalawag
Let's Get Harry
Girl with Green Eyes
Sunchaser, The
Tom Jones
Downsizing
Defiant Ones, The
Centerfold Girls, The
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The
120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Police Academy 3: Back in Training
Safe Place, A
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Cargo
Entertainer, The
Wing Commander
Look Back in Anger
Early Man
Killdozer
   
 
Newest Articles
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
   
 
  Hustle & Flow Pity The PimpBuy this film here.
Year: 2005
Director: Craig Brewer
Stars: Terrence Howard, Anthony Anderson, Taryn Manning, Taraji P. Henson, DJ Qualls, Ludacris, Paula Jai Parker, Elise Neal, Isaac Hayes, Jordan Houston, William Engram, Bobby Sandimanie, Haystack, Claude Phillips, Josey Scott, John Still, Jay Munn
Genre: Drama, Music
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Djay (Terrence Howard) is a small-time Memphis pimp approaching forty with some reservations. He has a collection of three prostitutes who live with him, one who works as a stripper, one heavily pregnant and another who drives around with him in his car looking for men to pick up for twenty dollars a go. There must be more to life than this, he believes, as he has got nowhere near fulfilling his childhood dreams as a local boy made good, rapper Skinny Black (Ludacris), has. So when he has a chance meeting with old friend Key (Anthony Anderson), an equally dissatisfied recording engineer, he realises they can both benefit...

Writer and director Craig Brewer's Hustle & Flow sparked controversy when it was released, mainly because it sought to have us relate to a pimp, historically not the most attractive of movie characters. Although this had a precedent in seventies blaxploitation such as The Mack, there was a chance that it would go a little more mainstream, especially when the film was Oscar nominated for Howard's heartfelt performance and won for the track "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" - many grumbles were aired when it was performed at that year's Academy Awards ceremony.

Those grumbles summed up the naysayers reaction to what they judged to be a lowlife drama not worth giving the time of day to, yet for it's champions Brewer had found sympathy in an unlikely place. Certainly few would quibble that the prostitutes deserved a better life, but it's Djay ordering them about that stuck in the craw for a number of audience members. Why should we care about whether he fulfills his fantasies or not? Brewer's answer was that everyone has potential, and if they climb out of the rut they have been stuck in, no matter how sleazy and disreputable, then they can feel they have worth, if only for a while.

So this was an empowerment tale, but Djay lifts up those around him with his ambitions as well. Key is around the same age and is also feeling that mid-life crisis looming early because what he really always wanted to do was be a record producer, and he sees in his old mate the potential to be just that. Roping in two of the prostitutes, Nola (Taryn Manning) and the pregnant Shug (Taraji P. Henson), to assist (the argumentative third - Paula Jai Parker - is unceremoniously booted out for not being a team player), Djay has his own producer, backing singer and budding manager, and with the assistance of engineer Shelby (DJ Qualls) they make musical magic.

The tracks they come up with make the plot akin to a group of friends building a rocket to the Moon in their back yard, with an extremely high degree of professionalism all round, from what we hear, but if there's one thing you take away from the film it's Brewer's love of music; if there's another it's his optimism. That optimism looks set to be thwarted when Djay takes a cassette to a local bar where Skinny is spending the evening, and initially seems to have won him round. But any obstacles are simply hiccups, and the true cast of wish fulfilment settles over the characters by the end. Does this make Hustle & Flow immoral? Or is Brewer seeing the good in people who have the initiative to make their own luck in spite of the hand life has dealt them? It may be contrived, but that happy ending is hard fought for. Music by Scott Bomar.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2468 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: