Title: Spring Breakers
Directed By: Harmony Korine
Starring: Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine, Vanessa Hudgens, James Franco, Gucci Mane
Between the out-of-control characters, insane parties and Harmony Korine’s highly stylized presentation, “Spring Breakers” is really something you need to see to believe.
It’s spring break, but instead of ditching the dorms for beaches and booze, Faith, Brit, Cotty and Candy (Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine, Vanessa Hudgens) are stuck at school. While Faith hangs out with her prayer group, Brit, Cotty and Candy opt to fix their spring break funding issue by robbing a local restaurant. Soon enough, the ladies are rolling in cash and ready to head to St. Petersburg, Florida for the time of their lives.
After a few days of living the dream, “finding themselves,” and making unforgettable memories, the party is crashed by the cops and the girls are arrested. Having spent all their hard-earned restaurant money on drugs and scooters, they’re doomed to do jail time until someone posts their bail – a local drug king and self-proclaimed “BallR,” Alien (James Franco).
“Spring Breakers” may feel like one big music video, but Korine actually manages to establish a semi-solid and even engaging narrative. Is it a sensible story? Absolutely not, but if you’re trying to take this one seriously, you’ve got much bigger problems.
The scenario is ridiculous right from the start. Brit, Cotty and Candy are absolute lunatics, drowning themselves in pot and laughing their way through class while Faith sucks the occasional cigarette, but is your quintessential good girl. Faith mentions the girls have been friends since they were kids, but how they didn’t grow apart over the years is an anomaly. And the same goes for the badder portion of the quartet’s decision-making tactics. Minus the fact that Brit seemingly enjoys drinking from a squirt gun that resembles a real handgun on a regular basis, the girls jump to the conclusion that stealing is the only way to get to spring break instantaneously, without a second thought or even a quick robbery 101 montage. Rationality is pushed further down in St. Petersburg where the ladies are completely carefree, guzzling so much alcohol it’s a wonder they don’t land in an emergency room rather than a prison cell.
While “Spring Breakers” is still devoid of rationality post-party portion and during the film’s Alien days, it’s in the latter half that the narrative starts to coalesce in an unexpected way. Things get so dark and outrageous that they actually put the entire film into perspective, albeit in an entirely warped manner. Korine doesn’t just say his movie is the craziest spring breaker ever; he sticks to it and delivers, and it’s his dedication to going all out that makes it work.
Korine doesn’t just show his leads drinking to excess, burying their faces in coke and rolling around on the floor in the middle of a room full of guys without the slightest bit of shame; he let’s you wade in it. The style here is based in repetition. Rather than simply taking the viewer from point A to point B, Korine frequently returns to past scenes, jumps to future ones, and is constantly reusing lines of dialogue. It’s an extreme format and can be tough to adjust to, but once you do, it serves the condition of the characters, almost mimicking their disoriented states. “Spring Breakers” is still very much a nonsensical, zero dignity party montage, but thanks to Korine’s unique handle on the material, it’s also something intriguingly dark. It’s not going to make you think per se, but “Spring Breakers” does make you feel, the kind of feeling you get from doing something bad and enjoying it.
It’s tough to judge “Spring Breakers” from an acting standpoint because the lagre majority of the characters are totally baseless. Gomez’s Faith gets the little bit of backstory that comes with the designation of group good girl, but there is absolutely no justification to Brit, Candy or Cotty’s outrageous behavior. Do they come from bad families? Are they rebelling? Are they actually insane? Who knows? “Spring Breakers” isn’t a film enticing you to ask questions, consider plot layers or even like the characters for that matter; it’s all a show, one big disturbing and demoralizing yet mesmerizing and entertaining show.