#REVIEW: “SPRING BREAKERS”
Money changes everything. Director/Writer Harmony Korine has long been refining his craft in the Indie world and at long last Spring Breakers just might be the star-studded affair that propels him into mainstream familiarity – whether or not that is his hope.
The Dramedy which reads almost like a Fantasy, centers on four College Girls: Faith (Selena Gomez), Cotty (Rachel Korine), Candy (Vanessa Hudgens) and Brit (Ashley Benson) who embark on their eagerly-awaited Spring Break. With hardly $100 to their names, they must gather some cash soon or else they will be forced to spend their break in the boring brown-grassed doldrums of their Hometown. Hitting the jackpot with loot gathered from a restaurant heist, the Girls then head-off for the wildest ride of their lives, which sees them thrown in jail – only to be rescued by shady Rapper/Gangster Alien (James Franco). Not knowing his true intentions, surely there is a price to be paid for his generosity and soon before they know it, the Girls find themselves deep into his world of crime. Although Spring Breakers starts off a fun and sun-filled adventure, things soon go dark and we fear whether or not the Girls are going to be able escape, entranced by Alien‘s power, charms and glamour.
I admit it, I was excited about Spring Breakers and have had to endure a Winter’s worth of curiosity after not being able to fit it into my TIFF schedule last September. As an Escape – and that’s what this is – the Film succeeds and dare I say it, my eyes were glued at some of Korine‘s more shocking choices including the abundant display of flesh and plenty of flashback-flashforward Foreshadowing; my palms were sweaty from some of its uncomfortably tense moments. Those who were shocked by Gina Gershon‘s chicken bone-fellating scene in last year’s Killer Joe (coincidentally the same Canadian Distributor as this) haven’t seen anything yet.
Franco knows exactly what time it is and what he’s signed-on to, more comical in a parodying way than threatening, yet completely undeniable in his braided hair and grills. He has much fun with his Character and for that, we enjoy it all the more. Gomez, although seen far too little, is cast perfectly as the wholesome Faith – the conscience of the group, while Benson and Hudgens take risks which might shock some of their young Fanbases – in fact, I think their Fans will outright dislike the Film – but in all are effective telling the Story. Despite some logical flaws including the Girls questioning who Franco‘s Character is after spending a good two minutes seeing him on-stage and mouthing his lyrics moments earlier, and its implausibilty (especially late), Spring Breakers is about Exploitation, Choices, Empowerment and Self-Discovery: some Girls are bad, some Girls are good. Some will say this is so bad, it’s good.
VVS Films releases Spring Breakers in select cities including Toronto, on March 29, 2013.