Hustling, Flowing, Linking
Caught Hustle & Flow Wednesday. After reading all the gushing reviews, I was ready for a let down but the film delivered. While H&F may not be anyone's film of the year, it could very well be the most pleasing film of 2005.
Yeah, the final act and the climactic sequence with Ludacris drags a bit, the plot is as simple as simple gets, and we're expected to be sympathetic to a small time pimp who rhymes about whooping tricks and how "it's so hard out there for a pimp". And damn, that Mississippi Delta accent is annoying, main.
But H&F works mostly because the characters are so well played. Terrence Howard makes a compelling, if not completely lovable character out of the lowest of the low. Anthony Anderson tones down his usual Anthony Anderson act and D.J. Qualls is comfortable in his, um, quirky body. Taryn Manning, who has made a career out of playing white trash/Eminem's ex-girlfriend, is wonderfully tragic. Even Ludacris puts in a nice little performance as a rapper who isn't unlike Luda himself. The entire cast takes the less-is-more approach when it would have been easy to play overplay.
Worth the $10.75 admission? Yeah, sure. Whatever you think of the film itself (and it really does stumble at the end), there's no denying Howard's performance. The hype is real.
My main gripe, not so much with the movie but the press - can we have a review of this film that doesn't mention that Bob Saget isn't as wholesome as we think? Yes, we get it. His material is raunchy, yes, and he probably gets together with John Stamos to reminisce-fuck the Olsen Twins. Let's move on.