By Shannon Dwyer 3-22-2013
“Spring Breakers” is one wild film. It is set to the music of Skrillex and shot in Day-Glo colors.
The movie opens with four broke, bored college students who are frustrated they can’t take a Florida spring break trip. Selena Gomez stars as Faith, the one good girl in the group. Her friends Brit (Ashley Benson), Candy (Vanessa Hudgens) and Cotty (Rachel Korine) round out the restless foursome.
The plot is a mix of crime drama and teen spring break comedy. However the way Director Harmony Korine has built the film, it doesn’t play out conventionally.
When Brit, Candy and Cotty decide to rob a restaurant in their town to fund their vacation, Korine films the robbery in a very smart real-time moment, watching from the outside as it unfolds. That’s a key to the way Korine shoots everything in the film.
This is an experience, and through the use of repetition in his editing and in the characters’ language, Korine gives the feel of something
remembered instead of something artificially staged for the camera.
Part of appreciating the absurdity of “Spring Breakers” is remembering Gomez’s and Hudgen’s squeaky clean beginnings. That way, you can gaze in horror as the group takes a downward spiral into the world of sex, drugs and gang violence.
The movie gets an unexpected jolt of life from James Franco. He plays Alien, a rapper-slash-psychopath who takes the girls under his wing after bailing them out of jail. Whether he’s screaming about his gun collection or leading a surprisingly emotional performance of Britney Spear’s “Everytime,” you’ll find Alien oddly endearing….terrifying and unsettling, but endearing nonetheless.
If you can see through all the drugs, guns and naked bodies, what’s left is a cautionary tale about growing up too fast, and why riding scooters in bikinis always leads down a dangerous path.