If Girls Gone Wild ever mean’t gone rogue as part of a deluded white trash rapper’s crime syndicate, then I guess that’s what Spring Breakers (2012) is. Spring Breakers is a…oh. I’m not really sure? Uh. Drama…Crime? Softcore..? Uhh. Teen crime movie! Is that a thing? It’s a film brought to you by relatively unknown director Harmony Korine, starring his wife Rachel Korine, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, James Franco, and quite controversially Selena Gomez. Initially people thought the idea was it’d be a highly sexual and trashy teen movie with a twist. And while that’s kind of true, it’s much more subversive, and deeper in it’s message.
Faith, Candy, Brittany, and Cotty (Selena Gomez, Venessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, and Rachel Korine) are four young girls who can’t wait to get away for Spring Break. However, the problem of the funds needed arises. Faith is a religious girl, and more reserved than the other 3, shown via earlier scenes in a church group. However, Candy, Brittany and Cotty rob a chicken joint for the cash, holding several people at gunpoint before smoothly escaping. They go to Spring Break and party it up like they planned, but are soon arrested following the events of a party. Estranged and demented rapper Alien (James Franco) pays the bail for the girls. Their relationship as friends is strained, as Alien drops them into a seedy underground of guns, coke, and blood feuds.
The film is incredibly sexualised throughout, but with good purpose. I think in a way Harmony is making a statement that we’ve become so desensitized to images of a sexual nature that the use of it is essentially irrelevant in some ways. That’s not to say you don’t notice the sexuality in Spring Breakers, but you’re kind of smothered by it. Every shot contains the male gaze, and towards the end of the film it’s just kind of, there? It’s hard to express, and that’s why Spring Breakers impressed me, there’s a lot of thought provoking shots and themes, and as a film it’s incredibly intriguing. Audiences were initially skeptical about the film’s content and topic. However, Candy and Brittany aren’t so much owned or abused by Alien, it’s very much the opposite. He’s seduced by them and under their influence. That’s empowerment if anything.
Admittedly the film’s story is pretty basic, and not the most gripping of narratives. However, it is very aesthetically beautiful, and interesting in it’s use of shot effects particularly in scenes of drug use, and it’s use of voice overlay. The score is also suiting, but contrasting. It uses Dubstep and modern dance music in scenes of euphoria and happyness, juxtaposed with Rap in scenes of danger and tension. Performances were mostly mixed, with Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Benson easily stealing the show among the girls. James Franco was also pretty fantastic. He’s just so underrated, the man is a master of disguise and still gets little respect in regards to parts. I just don’t understand.
Anyhow, that’s Spring Breakers. Not the most brilliant film ever, but it’s certainly thought-provoking, thematic, and glossy. Selina Gomez should never act again however. Tune in next time, and follow me @Sams_Reel_Views