Spring Breakers (Korine, 2013) is a mix between Kids (Clark, 1995) and Gummo (Korine, 1997). I believe this to be the best description of the film. Compared to Kids and Gummo, Spring Breakers is a much tamer movie, but this does not mean Harmony Korine has sold out. This is defiantly an art film. Take for instance Alien (James Franco) singing Brittany Spears at a piano while the girls are in pink ski masks twirling around with shotguns.
The starlets of the film are bored out of their minds waiting to go on spring break. Unfortunately the girls do not have enough money to get to Florida for spring break. The girls rob a restaurant to acquire the rest of the money they need. I do not want to go in much detail, so all I’ll say is this robbery was one of my favorite scenes, filmed excellently. Benoit Debie is the director of photography for this film. He also filmed Irreversible (Noe, 2002) and Enter the Void (Noe, 2009), this would explain the why the colors really pop in the film.
Once in Florida the fun and games begin, filled with tons of alcohol, drugs, and as little clothing as possible, if not at all. The film points out, many times, how being on spring break is a spiritual experience. After the girls are jailed then bailed out by Alien does the film take turn into the dark under belly of St. Petersburg. When this happens the question to be asked is: How did we get from fun in the sun to drugs and thugs?
The only complaint is the 3 of the 4 girls were hard to distinguish. As personalities go 3 of the girls were hard to keep track of. Even when the one girl has red dye in her hair she was still hard to keep distinguished. If there were more differences in maybe their personalities of clothing would have helped separate the girls.
This film does not follow typical movie structure and because of that I had fun not knowing where this movie would land. There are plenty of great scenes mixed through out the film ranging from fun to really intense edge of your seat kind of stuff. The acting by Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens is done well. I think I may have more respect for them now. James Franco is great at playing a drug dealer and so in Gucci Mane. Gucci Mane has such presence on the screen; I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in more movies after this.
While negative reviews claim this film us pointless or exploitative, I disagree. I believe each girl has experienced what Jacque Lacan calls “The Real”. The Real is what the subject desires but when this desire is encountered the subject rejects or runs away from his or her desire because confronting that desire is to much to handle. This encounter happens for each girl but at different points in the film, for the most part. I also believe the girls got to have their desire meet but did not feel fulfilled. When each girl goes back home they look sadder then when they went to Florida. The last shot of the film is upside down. This signifies the world is now upside down for these girls.
Those of you who know me know that I love Harmony Korine films and this film is no different. While this film is tamer then most of this other films, that does not mean just as good only different. If you are going to see this film not knowing who the director is you will most likely be disappointed, for it not living up to mainstream exceptions. If you know who Harmony Korine is then go see this movie and enjoy yourself.