Saturday, January 12, 2008

Hustle & Flow (2005)

After seeing Hustle and Flow I have to say that I really liked it, but there is something a bit disturbing about it when you think about the story. After all it's about a pimp who tries to break into the rap game. The pimp is played by Terrance Howard who does a great job, but the film does gloss over prostitution as not so much as a "bad" occupation, but something the characters need to do in order to survive. The film takes place in Memphis, and Howard's character is represented as a benevolent type pimp. There is one scene where I believe Howard shows the true nature of a pimp, but even that is restrained, and you know that it's worse then that in reality.

But this isn't reality is it. It's a film about creativity, and also how one needs his or her dreams. I liked the script, and I also enjoyed how the characters put life in perspective. Watching characters go through the creative process can be a boring endeavor, but Craig Brewer the director & writer of the film makes us interested in what they are doing. I even thought that Hustle & Flow could easily describe low budget filmmaking. With such pieces of dialogue as: "I'm trying to squeeze a dollar out of a dime when I don't even have a cent". I really liked that aspect of the film, and it kind of resonated with me, but showing how Terrance's character makes his money seemed more Hollywood bullshit to me then what people really do in order to survive. The whole prostitution thing seems sugar coated, and almost feels like a "Pretty Women" white wash of the subject.
This was Brewer's first film, and it's produced pretty very well, and it really works. For a three million dollar budget I believe Brewer got all that up on the screen and then some. Again it's a good film about the creative process, and how some of us want more out of life and try to aspire to better things. I liked that message, and Howard's performance rings truthful, but the sugar coating of what he does seems a bit false.

What should also be said about this film is the performance of two other actors. Anthony Anderson as Key, and Taryn Manning as Nola. They do some really good acting, and I love Anderson character who balances his want and desire to do something special, and his desire to do right and as he says "pay the rent". Look for Isaac Hayes as the bar owner also.
The film is a good first film, and it does say something if you listen to it. Showing a life that is probably 100 times more worse then it is portrayed is something that gives you second thoughts about the film, butI'd recommend seeing the film any way because after all if you want reality go rent a documentary.

No comments: