Sex. Drugs. Violence. Sex. Those are the only reasons anyone can justify why they went to see this movie. Anyone who says they just wanted to see how Selena Gomez handled this role is lying. I will leave room for the 3% of audience, who will watch James Franco in any project he takes on, but the rest, sex.
Plot: The film follows Brit (Ashley Benson), Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Cotty (Rachel Korine), and Faith (Selena Gomez) seeking to escape their boring college lives, Spring Break style. But when they find themselves short on cash they decide armed robbery will solve all of their problems. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. With the new found rush of armed robbery, thrust into the chaotic atmosphere of college Spring Break, and enter a shady drug dealing rapper/hustler named Alien (James Franco), these young girls soon find themselves in a whole new world.
Analysis: “Spring Breakers” practically screams “It’s time to take me seriously as an actress”, with the core cast made up of the Disney Channel and ABC Family’s finest, showcasing that they are all grown up now.
It is the most beautifully shot soft-core pornography to ever enter theaters. With more nudity than any theatrical release I can remember, “Spring Breakers” lets you know that it is here to showcase sex and it lets you know early. The dialogue is evidently written by a man (Director, Harmony Korine) who is begging for his fantasies to come true on the big screen, because it seems forced coming from even the biggest party girls. Then comes the curve ball. Just when you think you could have saved 10 bucks and stayed home to watch “Skinemax”, the film takes you in an entirely different direction from anything you would expect.
The film borders on being auteurisitic, and that is not a word I throw around lightly. As stated earlier, the film is remarkably shot and unbelievably well lit. Some of the shots are so unique, it hurts my brain to even think of the coordination it took to get the shot right (The robbery scene near the beginning). While it is so much fun to look at, that is not what sets it apart. The three characteristics that set this movie apart are:
These three keys make “Spring Breakers” a very interesting narrative to follow. The repetition is introduced in many pivotal scenes during the film. Important dialogue is repeated in 3 or 4 scenes, each time edited differently, changing the audiences perception.
Next is the juxtaposition of very pleasing music or dialogue with very raunchy and violent images. Something Stanley Kubrick would be proud of, like when we infused the Mickey Mouse theme song into the harsh realities of the Vietnam War (“Full Metal Jacket”).
And finally, the coolest thing about this movie is the foreshadowing. Now, I’m not talking about the kind of foreshadowing you were forced to learn in 7th grade literature. This was a quick few frames showing what was going to happen in the future, but it never gave away how it was going to happen. This film continuously toys with the audience’s expectations.
From an acting standpoint, James Franco is remarkable. When Alien is first introduced I felt like I wanted to punch the character in the face every time he said a word. But as the story develops, so does Franco’s character. I was also very impressed by the performances of former Disney stars Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens and I wouldn’t be surprised in both landed substantial roles in the future.
Verdict: Spring Breakers is much more than the sex that it uses to get into the theaters. It is director Harmony Korine’s satirical perspective on how sex, drugs, and money are all so glorified by college-aged students. It was his way of saying that, just because you are having fun, does not mean that things will not go wrong and there won’t be consequences. This is not a video game. This is not a movie. This is real life.