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Spring Breakers (2012)

Monday, 15. April 2013

Spring Breakers
Director: Harmony Korine
Writer: Harmony Korine
Cast: Ashley Benson, Vanessa Hudgens, Rachel Korine, Selena Gomez, James Franco

Plot:
Faith (Selena Gomez), Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Brit (Ashley Benson) and Cotty (Rachel Korine) have been best friends since kindergarten. Now they’re dreaming of going on Spring Break together, but they lack the funds. Finally Candy, Brit and Cotty rob a restaurant and the four of them get going. But once there, they get arrested for possession. They are bailed out of jail by Alien (James Franco), a rapper/drug dealer who wants to recruit them as his new gang.

Based on the marketing campaign, I expected this movie to be all boobs and cheap thrills, but since Kids (written by Harmony Korine) was one hell of a movie, I thought that I’d give it a chance at least. And I was very glad I did. Whether or not Spring Breakers is your cup of tea, I don’t know. But it certainly isn’t your run of the mill “girls gone wild” movie.

springbreakers

As I said, my expectations were pretty low going into the film. Maybe that’s why I was so blown away by it. But blown away I was. Korine’s storytelling style is unconventional. There are jumps in time, repetition of text fragments, seemingly displaced voice overs, weird camera placements etc. At first that just seems confusing, maybe even overwhelming, especially because of the soundtrack.

But then you get into the rhythm. The soundtrack becomes a perfect fit. The movie becomes hypnotic and there’s a surprising amount of tension built up. And after the initial estrangement, I was completely immersed and unable to look away.

springbreakers1

The cast was pretty good. Since I don’t have that much relation with the Disney channel stars, I didn’t care about the shock value of that casting. But they did well with the roles. James Franco was really fucking insane, too. Perfect for the role (even though I’m very glad he only rapped and sang for a short while).

I’m not sure about the message the film is trying to send. For that I’ll probably need to re-watch the film But I know that there’s a lot of stuff there that can be interpreted and dissected and I’ll be happy to delve into it again.

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Summarising: Totally worth it, even if you might end up hating it.

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2 comments

  1. This movie was… weird. There a certain things that I really really liked. For example, when the first girl left I was certain that she would come back later to save the others, but the movie surprised me by never going the obvious route. I especially liked the totally over the top, dream-like ending, with I found surprisingly un-messagy (if this isn’t a real word, it should be *g*). So no wagging finger telling us that “crime doesn’t pay”, or anything like that.

    However, occasionally the movie almost bored me to death. I especially hated the repetition of the same sentences over and over and over and over and fuck-I-get-it-could-we-please-move-on-thank-you-very-much-over again. That really drove me mad. I actually was almost ready to leave the cinema on one or two of those occasions. Then again, without those repetitions, the movie would have been over after 40 minutes (at least, that’s what it felt like). Anyway. I reelly enjoyed parts of it, but overall, I don’t think that I ever want to see it again.


    • Weird is certainly a word that fits this film. And un-messagy, too. :)

      I wasn’t annoyed by the repetitions. For me they became like a chorus in a song or a repeated line in a poem. They were mostly a rhythmic element. And the entire film was practically a musical experience for me, certainly a rhythmic one (once I got into that rhythm, that is).

      But I can understand your frustration. After the first ten minutes I could see myself reacting the same way you did, but somehow I ended up on the other side and completely loving it.



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