Ben Oliver

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Hustle & Flow

I’m here trying to squeeze a dollar out of a dime, and I ain’t even got a cent.
26 January 2015

A down and out pimp tries to make a go of it in the Hip-Hop business.

Hustle & Flow gets off to a rocky start, the opening scenes are dull and messy - it’s unclear what Brewer is trying to achieve. Once DJay (Terrence Howard) sits in the church and listens to the music, things start to come together nicely.

Watching the trials and tribulations of someone trying to make it is a favourite old Hollywood theme and this does occasionally stray into hackneyed territory. However, the money shots, i.e. the ones where they make music, are very effective.

I have to take issue with the way some events are dealt with, notably when one of DJay’s prostitutes is made to have sex with a store owner in exchange for a microphone. There’s a brief moment of conflict but ultimately no one seems to give a shit and it’s weird.

Hustle & Flow is a solid, entertaining film, marred by the feeling that it’s trying to send us a message yet failing.

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