• At any time of the day, a good movie with popcorn or beer is a welcome pleasure.

    Spring Breakers (2012): Movie Review

    Every once in a while, we yearn to be somewhere else and to be someone else. We wish a quick break from our realities and experience a totally different high. In Spring Breakers, director Harmony Korine takes us into the lives of four girls and the unreality they precipitate and participate in their most unforgettable spring break. 

    Spring Breakers is an American crime-comedy film which premiered at the 69th Venice International Film Festival on September 4, 2012. Its theatrical release was on March 22, 2013 and the film became a cult classic the instant it hit the cinemas. One reason could be its graphic and bold depiction of one of the most anticipated seasons of the year by college students. Another could be its haunting power to awaken the desires and secret imagination of anyone watching it.

    The first half of the film is quite ordinary and gives you the feeling of “Hey, am I watching just another college flick?” Here we meet four girls: Faith (Selena Gomez), Brit (Ashley Benson), Candy (VanessaHudgens) and Cotty  (Rachel Korine). Desperate for a wild spring break, Brit and Candy, after getting high on cocaine, put on ski masks and rob a local restaurant using hammers and squirt guns. With some cash, the girls rush to St. Petersburg, Florida. 

    Of the four of them, only Faith has a solid back story. Being a devout Christian and granddaughter, she is initially hesitant with the trip as her religious youth group warns her about it. But her desire to party with the girls she has known since pre-school got the better of her. Being aloof and uninterested at times, Faith seems the “odd man” as the three girls are interchangeable. So in St. Petersburg, they party endlessly, explore more drugs and engage in reckless behaviors.

    After a particularly wild party, the four girls are arrested. After three nights in jail, they are suddenly bailed out by a mysterious rapper-gangster named Alien (James Franco). With Alien entering their lives, the movie turns into an epic riot of more party, sex, drug and violence. Will Faith and the girls hold out to the end? What surprises does Alien have in store for the girls? Or is it the girls that will surprise Alien?

    Spring Breakers is a vicious satire of a common “tradition”, perfectly blending comic mockery with dark tasteful elements. The movie is really about what happens during a spring break, but unlike other films depicting such wonderful time, it goes further by portraying surreal events and creating mesmerizing graphic cinematic moments. At times shot at long range, the film gives mostly a cam-cording vibe, making you feel intimate with these stunning steamy ladies, once Disney princesses but are now undauntingly showing so much skin while getting high on drugs or booze or having sex in the pool with James Franco.

    The movie is alive with so much color, possibly because of the sunny warmth of Florida, the lush palm trees and blue waters, and the montage of myriad floral or multi-colored bikinis and thongs or the shimmering tanned bare bodies. In particular, the moment when the girls transform into nymphs with pink ski masks and matching skimpy bikinis while on their violent spree is a moment to behold. It is literally eye-popping and jaw-dropping. Near the end, the robbery scene has that infrared-like vision which highlights even further the film’s iconic pink ski masks.

    Lastly, Spring Breakers has excellent musical themes. We get to hear some of Britney’s trademark songs like “Baby One More Time” and “Everytime” which James Franco gave a creepy lazy rendition. Some say it is a metaphor for the singer and her cycle of ups and downs. After one incident, Alien comes to his piano again and sings: “Four little chickies came down to the beach. Four little chickies got out of my reach. Then one chickie got shot in the arm. That little chickie going back to the farm.” The song just says it all.

    Spring Breakers has a simple message – that our pursuit of happiness may be a dangerous road after all. But more than the message, the film excels in giving a fresh take of a college getaway with its engaging shots and vivid imagery. Combined with the cast’s, especially James Franco's, natural skills and persuasion, Spring Breakers deserves a five out of five star-rating.


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