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"Hustle" Review: When Inspiration and Self-improvement Manage to Win the Game of Life

Adam Sandler Stars in One of the Best Netflix Original Dramas of 2022. Here we Bring you our Review of "Hustle".

Still from the movie 'Hustle'

Photo: YT-Netflix

LatinAmerican Post | Theoscar Mogollón González

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Leer en español: Reseña de "Hustle": Cuando la inspiración y superación logran ganar el partido de la vida

While some consider it to be at its lowest hours, Netflix has done it again. The streaming platform has released several original movies in 2022, but none - to date - has managed to attract enough attention from the audience than "Hustle", an inspiring sports story that emphasizes the value of second chances. What accounts for its quick and unexpected success?

Sport is capable of connecting us with each other, even if you are not a faithful follower of any discipline. It is precisely at that point, between the athletic and the personal, where the stories move us the most, a fact that Netflix knows perfectly. And it's just enough to remember other productions like "The Last Dance" or "Drive To Survive" to know the magnitude of what we mean. It is, therefore, a phenomenon that aims to show us how important it is to improve in life.

In this film, we meet Stanley Beren, a scout for the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team who lives low hours and is tired of his routine. Knowing of this situation, his boss sends him on one last search before giving him the job of deputy coach, something Stanley has always wanted for years. During his stay abroad he meets Bo Cruz, a street basketball player with enormous talent and a difficult past, whom he will take to the United States in an attempt to show that they are both up for great things in the NBA.

"Hustle" is directed by Jeremiah Zagar and its main protagonist is Adam Sandler, whose performance has earned hundreds of praises from critics. Along with him also perform Juancho Hernangómez (professional basketball player who plays for the Utah Jazz), Queen Latifah, Ben Foster, Robert Duvall, among others. Likewise, it is worth mentioning that players and coaches who are or have been part of the world of North American basketball also appear throughout the film.

Also read: Everything you need to know about Netflix's "Merlina"

Adam Sandler, the plot's MVP

As many know, Adam Sandler's filmography is full of comic productions that for some are difficult to digest. However, behind all that figure full of nonsense jokes is a great actor, who really shines when the film has a dramatic tone. At the time he had already given us a sample in "Uncut Gems" of what he was capable of when he should have a serious profile, earning critical acclaim and greatly surprising his fans, and part of that is repeated (and perhaps exceeded) with "Hustle".

His character shows a spiritual side that reflects devotion to a cause, regardless of whether it is part of an overwhelming monotony. During his crusade he meets Bo, whose humble life manages to connect in a certain way with many of us, who day by day seek sustenance for the home without losing sight of our dreams. So this is nothing more than Stanley's hero's journey that serves as the impetus for Bo's redemption story.

Certainly, "Hustle" is a plot that has nothing new and whose script at times is predictable with its twists, although with the only difference that the producers knew how to put together the pieces to hook a more varied audience. To that end, Zagar's camerawork was essential, keeping the story moving at a fast pace and framing the conflict at the right time. In addition, the touch of humor is the special seasoning that could not be missing on this journey of emotions.

In turn, it is worth mentioning that the sports scenes are the jewel in the crown. In fact, it is arguably the film's strongest point, unsurprisingly, and it shows from the street matches to the training sessions, the realism of which may have been made possible by the input of professional players. Special mention to the wink he makes to "Rocky", in a sequence that takes Bo from an almost amateur character to a potential athlete.

In short , Netflix opted for a story of losing characters who are usually marginalized, but who somehow find that last opportunity to overcome and lead their way. And it is that both in sport and in life itself there are all kinds of impediments that with work and dedication are possible to overcome. That's the charm of "Hustle."