Review: Spring Breakers
For four young girls determined to be a part of spring break, their felonious acts to get to the party is just the beginning of chaos. Drugs, sex, and violence all await these girls who may be incredibly naïve, incredibly smart, or completely crazy – or all three.
Who’s in It?
Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, and Rachel Korine are the bikini-clad criminals, while James Franco is remarkable (and totally nuts) as the steel-toothed, tattooed gangster known as Alien.
Spring Breakers is an assault on your senses and sensibilities, tempting and exciting. A quartet of enticing, dangerous, young vixens is the focus of Harmony Korine’ stylish film that is far darker and smarter than it looks on the surface.
Never mind the endless partying that makes up the yearly teenage escape – for these girls, spring break is an idea. It’s a symbol of freedom, a right of passage, and for the more innocent girl of the group, Faith, a chance to break from of a banal life and explore the world. Opening with beachside beats, hot bodies, and wild gyrations, this moment of spring-break excess is quickly juxtaposed by a life of uneventful education and mindless obedience. Taking a page from Stephen Soderbergh, Korine (who directs his wife Rachel in the film) underscores every scene with music, jumps back and forth in time, and approaches most scenes with odd, evocative framing.
It all creates sense of mystery and urgency, and early on, and he doesn’t let minutes pass without the sound of a gunshot echoing in turn with the music. His aggressive directing foreshadows the series of disturbing events to come, showing the glimpse of a bloody hand here or loaded gun there. His style also serves to take the pressure off a young group of actresses who have risen to stardom on their looks and bubbly Disney personalities. Did I mention they are often wearing bikinis, or less?
They are representative of this young generation: desensitized, selfish, bored, and in love with the idea of doing something or being someone far more important. So when they meet Alien, a smooth-talking rapper, they follow. He is charming and dangerous, different yet familiar, and a vehicle to step into a world they know nothing of, without having to jump right in. The three girls that follow him closely are in love with the idea of his life, while the fourth, the somewhat pious girl played by Gomez, is confronted by the fact that this isn’t exactly what she was looking for.
Suspension of disbelief is required for the finale, but even if it strikes at absurdity, it makes perfect sense in a film that carries you from start to finish. You don’t know what is going on, but neither do the girls– the difference being Faith, Candy, Brit, and Cotty think they do, think it’s what they want, and know how to act.
Should You See It?
Yes, but be advised, it is certainly not for everyone, and will have nothing to say to an older generation. There aren’t so much points of contention with the film so much as some will simply choose not to buy in, either because they don’t understand the culture, or they are jealous for not being a part of it. Super jeal.
Faith, reflecting on the trip: “This is where we were supposed to find ourselves… you’ll be back home one day thinking, maybe I missed something out there…something special…something different…”