REVIEW: Harmony Korine's 'Spring Breakers'
I’m not particularly familiar with Harmony Korine. I had heard a great deal about Kids from friends but it wasn’t something that I had watched. A few weeks ago in the dead of night I caught Mister Lonely on television on those rare occasions I watch when I can’t sleep and it was weird. Very weird. With the release of Spring Breakers I didn’t really know what to expect other than what it said on the tin essentially.
The film is about childhood friends Candy, Brit, Cotty and Faith who are fed up with their lives in the humdrum of where they live and study. Wanting to go on Spring Break, a student holiday which is notorious for its wild drug and alcohol fuelled parties the girls go to criminal means to achieve their dreams of getting there. And so packing their bikinis the four set off to the place of what they imagine is their dreams. But of course, where dreams live, nightmares wait to takeover.
As they encounter the law they are freed from prison by James Franco as the strangest character I could have ever imaged him playing. A Drug dealing rapper and gangster named Alien with gold teeth and all. With this new alliance a new world of crime, greed and wealth is exposed to them. A world they were made for, a place they belong to. As the rampage of their new life continues arch rival Archie arrives to warn them against his turf, bullets fly and people are hurt. Queue revenge, guns blazing (in a bikini and balaclava of course).
With the trailers alone you were already taken out the norm and into the chaos of Spring Break. Visually the film is bright and neon. Almost like some advertisement with girls jumping around in the beach topless having drinks thrown down their naked bodies, guys getting lucky and all this with all the drink and drugs you can buy. The music is so coherent to the direction and style of it. At times you’re mesmerized by the music and movement in the scenes.
The clever thing about this film also is that you have the innocence of Disney alumni Vanessa Hugdens and Salena Gomez in the troupe of girls doing everything against the image they portrayed of themselves previously. It’s a sharp change from cutesy teenage love to grinding against strangers in skimpy bikinis, snorting coke from a girls’ naked breast and having a threesome in a swimming pool. But out of all the characters in this film the most fascinating by far is Alien. Alien who is full of poetry, of ideology, of what the American dream is. A man who created a character that is articulate, a fighter and oddly likes to sing Britney Spears songs. He is also marred by the reality of what achieving the American dream means, it means constantly fighting to keep that dream alive which is unknown to the naive girls. The film is essentially about the American dream. It is the hunger and greed to gain what you want whether it is through violence or transporting yourself to another life.
And the price for dreams are very high and the risks deadly. Enjoy.