After four college girls rob a restaurant to fund their spring break in Florida, they get entangled with a weird dude with his own criminal agenda.
Director: Harmony Korine
Starring: Harmony Korine, James Franco, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, Selena Gomez, Rachel Korine, Jeff Jarrett, Gucci Mane, Heather Morris, Ash Lendzion, Emma Holzer
Information Page: https://www.newonnetflix.info/info/70257860
Guest Reviewer: Erdem Ali
“Spring Breakers” follows four college students, Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Faith (Selena Gomez), Brit (Ashley Benson) and Cotty (Rachel Korine), in their search for the ultimate spring break experience. While the film offers this as the main motivation of their trip, it also presents the idea that the girls are looking for an escape from the mundaneness of their everyday lives. When short on cash to fund their excursion from their campus to the beaches of Florida, these seeming normal girls, just looking for fun, push the limits of expectations by committing armed robbery to fund their trip.
Once they make it to their spring break destination, the girls experience the over indulgent partying associated with spring break, including excessive amounts of drinking and drug use. However, it is not long before they are arrested for narcotics consumption and are locked away without the funds available to post their bail for release. This is where hood gangster, and aspiring Tony Montana from Scarface, Alien (played by James Franco) enters proceedings. Enticed by the young women, he posts their bail and invites them into his world. What follows is the girls’ abandonment of their initial thoughts and ideas of what spring break entails as they join Alien in his escapade of criminal activity.
The film, rather than keeping to a narrative in a conventional chronological order, jumps backwards and forwards at an almost nauseating pace. This sensory expression presents itself throughout the movie as the camerawork, editing, and sound create a myriad of emotions for the viewer. Clearly, this film attempts to induce the sensory in the audience rather than being made for plot and character like conventional cinema. And this is where, for me at least, the main criticism of the movie arises.
The four girls, rather than being four different three-dimensional characters, seem to be a single entity, with each displaying distinctive characteristics of an individual. What little character growth presented in the film comes through Alien who does experience somewhat of a character arch and development. The plot, or what little plot there is, jumps backwards and forwards at a frantic pace, allowing very few moments of knowing exactly where the characters are at any one time. While it is understood that plot may not have been the focus of this film, the hectic way the minimal story is told (it could in all honesty be summarised in a sentence or two) drags the relatively short film (1 hour and 30mins approx.) on for what feels like double its run time. There is also the question of the continuous exposure of the female body to the camera. While it is understandable that this can be considered an example of the excess, materialism, and sensory that the film wishes to highlight, the overuse of such shots feels in itself exploitative.
Overall, if you are looking for a film that breaks traditional cinematic structure then “Spring Breakers” can certainly do that. However, while the film succeeds at not being a film in the conventional sense it fails to be entertaining.
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