Friday, March 8, 2013
Hustle and Flow. B
It's a great story, a pimp with a dream. If for nothing else, Hustle and Flow gets points for taking the pimp stereotype and turning it upside down. Writer/director Craig Brewer (who's career got off to a rather awesome start with this and Black Snake Moan but has since fizzled somewhat) is one level operating on familiar ground with the story of someone low rising up, and yet he's got some new and exciting things going on as well. Besides the fact that his story is about a pimp trying to become a rapper, Brewer surprises us by keeping the story largely in one spot with a small handful of characters all of whom are presented with classical (and somewhat predictable) character arcs. In other words, he keeps things simple, keeping a limit on the world he creates and not letting it go past its southern regionalism. He saves the hero's (Terrence Howard) big attempt towards stardom till the very end and and puts a cap on it quickly. He refuses to get into the riches and the glamour that this pimp has the potential for. Brewer's entirely concerned with the search, a quest that's based on doing something you actually kind of like. And that's why I found the ending to be the movie's biggest weakness because it put a nice bow on the story when it doesn't actually need one.