28 sept. 2013

My Review: Spring Breakers (5/10)

"I got Scarface. On repeat. SCARFACE ON REPEAT. Constant, y'all! I got Escape! Calvin Klein Escape! Mix it up with Calvin Klein Be. Smell nice? I SMELL NICE!"

Spring Breakers begins with its colorful neon lights, its catchy score, and its hallucinatory hedonistic atmosphere in such a way that it draws the audience in from the very beginning. There is no character development whatsoever or an interesting plot, but there was something magnetic about this social commentary on today's youth and search for pleasure. Spring Breakers was written and directed by Harmony Korine, and at first I was really drawn in to this film that had a very unique mood and energy to it. The music and the slow motion allowed for Korine's social commentary to get across pretty easily. But as the film progressed and continued to be repetitive (there are literally several scenes and voiceover narrations that play over and over again) I felt like I was getting more and more irritated with it. By the end it got so repetitive that I felt like I was watching the same music video on repeat several times. Even at the short length of 90 minutes this movie felt too stretched out. This could have worked as a short film, but instead Korine decided to stretch it out in order to get his point across. He focused so much on the hedonistic and immoral side of today's youth that I just felt overwhelmed by this movie. What began as a provocative film slowly began to lose itself into a fluorescent nightmarish dream. I understand that the one dimensional characters were actually intended, but the plot could've used a little more work and less repetition. I preferred Coppola's The Bling Ring, which I felt worked as a better social commentary about today's celebrity and fashion obsessed youth. In Spring Breakers, Korine focuses on this generation's hedonistic search for pleasures such as sex, alcohol, drugs, and violence. Finding one's identity seems to be related with having fun and searching for as much pleasure as one can find. Korine got his point across, but he seemed to be repeating himself too much. At the end it just felt too preachy.

Faith (Selena Gomez), Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Brit (Ashley Benson), and Cotty (Rachel Korine) have been best friends since they were in grade school. Now they are all studying at the same University and they are looking forward to spending time together during Spring break. They are planning on going to Florida to have a good time and discover themselves. They talk about this event as if it were going to be some sort of spiritual experience and self discovery, but in reality all they are looking for is to party. The only problem is that they never come up with the money to travel. Candy, Brit, and Cotty all have similar character traits, they are very outgoing party girls. Faith on the other hand is a little more reserved as she has a christian background and likes to go to church and prayer groups. The three troublemakers decide to rob a local restaurant in order to come up with the money for their trip. With only a couple of water guns they succeed and are all set for their adventure. Faith joins the girls and together they begin having the time of their life in Florida. But the fun and games don't last too long after they experience some trouble with the law and end up behind bars. A stranger, a gangster rapper named Alien (James Franco), bails them out and invites them to hang out with him. He has some interesting plans for these special girls. 

The film has some very interesting performances here, but the stand out without a doubt has to be James Franco. He plays a very different character from the ones we are used to seeing from him. Despite how much I enjoyed his performance, I still think you could enjoy it from the trailers alone because there isn't much more in the film. Some scenes actually felt like if it were the trailer repeating itself over and over. Selena Gomez also gives a very different performance from her Disney roles as we see her smoking and drinking, although she is a little more reserved then the rest of the girls. The other three girls are very hard to distinguish in this film. They all play similar roles and it was as if director Korine was purposely mushing the three characters into one. They were all hungry for adventure and all they were looking for was to experience as much pleasure as they could having no morals at all. When James Franco comes into play at first we see him as this dangerous figure for the girls, but soon we realize that he might be in for a surprise. I had no problem with the performances here, I enjoyed them. My main issue had to do with the fact that the movie had no plot and it continued to repeat itself over and over. The magnetic appeal it had at the beginning slowly went wearing off on me until I could care less for what was happening. 

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