Hustle and Flow - Hustles and Flows

Duration: 116min
Category: action
Available: On DVD
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Itís hard out there for a pimp. Thatís a refrain from one of the songs prominently featured in Hustle & Flow as well as the message of the movie. So, despite what the rap videos tell you, pimping isnít all about loud suits, excessive gold jewellery and lavish porn star lifestyle. Who knew?

Instead itís about selling weed on the side, raising screaming babies, living in a dump and basically regretting your life choices. Still everybodyís gotta dream. And thatís what DJay (played by the remarkable Terrence Howard) does.

He wants to be a musician. After running into a school mate (who has obviously made better choices in his life Ė happily married and gainfully self-employed as a sound engineer) he realizes that there has to be more to life than pimping. The two of them attempt to lay down some tracks and the story spins hopelessly out of control from there.

Hustle & Flow doesnít glamorize anything and is a welcome antidote to the kind of images we see on MTV. Instead, itís an inspiring, if not somewhat tragic, tale of wasted lives and desperate people. The film takes an optimistic, although somewhat unrealistic, turn at the end but who can blame it after weaving such a great story through the bulk of the picture. Good story telling wins out.

Adding to the enjoyable experience is the exceptional cast. Howard deserves all the accolades he is receiving for this part. He creates an honest and yet sympathetic portrayal without ever playing to the camera for his ďOscar-shot.Ē He keeps DJayís frustration reigned in allowing us glimpses of the man he is portraying. This could be a career defining part for the actor who has shown himself to be strong in other supporting work.

The women of the film are strong too, especially Taraji P. Henson, unafraid to be ugly but allowing the beauty underneath to shine.

Hustle & Flow both hustles and flows and the combo works well. Kudos to Craig Brewer for this screenplay and direction.

Review By: Collin Smith

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