• Charlie Vogelsang

Hustle On Lombard (2020) Review

Two estranged brothers suffering with demons of their own are reunited, but it may not be for the better.

Written, directed and edited by Matt Torsell, Hustle on Lombard is Torsell’s debut feature film focusing on the story of two estranged brothers. One of them is a drug addict, and the other is a paranoid schizophrenic. Will they be able to help each other?

Hustle on Lombard starts with Jeremy, played by Michael Dandridge, who finds out that his father has passed away. Jeremy has been living off the grid as he believes he is constantly being watched and spied on due to his schizophrenia. He decides to find his half brother and reunite with him.

After searching the streets of Baltimore, Jeremy finally finds his brother Michael, played by Ham Mukasa. The brothers are reunited, but it turns out that Jeremy is not the only one who is plagued by issues - as it’s soon exposed that Michael is a drug addict. Jeremy and Michael learn that they must deal with each others’ struggles while trying to survive the harsh streets of Baltimore.

Mukasa and Dandrige could be stars in the making

The standout thing from Hustle on Lombard is definitely the way that they show schizophrenia and Dandridge’s performance. It’s not mocked and does not try to show Jeremy as a crazy person. From his first moment on screen, it’s clear that Jeremy needs help through Dandridge’s subtle performance. Like many with the disorder, Jeremy has manic episodes but has moments in which he almost acts with a rational mind. The film depicts Jeremy’s character as a human being rather than an insane monster that should be feared or ridiculed.

Michael as a character is well-acted, too, by Mukasa. Through the delivery of the story and Mukasa’s performance, it’s understood how Michael became addicted to pills and how it progressively got worse. Both brothers need serious help, but refuse to accept it and instead drag each other further into despair. Their combined performances and genuine chemistry makes them feel like brothers - and it is amazing to watch. The clear takeaway from the film is that both brothers care about each other and think that they are doing what is best.

The performances are fascinating to watch. The camera work, sound, editing and everything else is good, too, but the actors outshine everything else. Mukasa and Dandrige could be stars in the making - let’s hope they continue to deliver excellent performances that’ll take your breath away.


Watch now on Amazon Prime.