Thomas Lewry’s review published on Letterboxd:
''This is the fuckin' American dream. This is my fuckin' dream, y'all! All this sheeyit! Look at my sheeyit! I got... I got SHORTS! Every fuckin' color. I got designer T-shirts! I got gold bullets. Motherfuckin' VAM-pires. I got Scarface. On repeat. SCARFACE ON REPEAT. Constant, y'all!''
Today was the day I finally became a man, a cinematic barmitzvah if you will. I attended my first R18+ theatrical release (technically I went to see 'Saw 3D' a few years back but I like to think that film never existed) it was Harmony Korine's 'Spring Breakers' a film I had been eagerly anticipating for a while now.
A group of friends set out for escapism as they travel to Florida for Spring Break. While having the time of there life they are arrested for narcotics but are luckily bailed out by Alien, an eccentric, drug addicted rapper who may have ulterior motives for letting them loose.
'Spring Breakers' is one of those films that is guaranteed to separate audience opinions, on one hand most will think of it as a trashy hot mess with nothing redeeming about it, and others will think of it as ingenious and a hard hitting portrayal of a the major change in society's values, thankfully I am part of the latter. 'Spring Breakers' is a film that had me in a trance from beginning, the film is colorfully mesmerizing yet very dark and disturbing.
I'm not overly familiar with Harmony Korine's work, the only film I had seen prior to this that featured his participation was 'Kids', after 'Spring Breakers' I am already prepared to label the man as brilliant. Korine's work on this film is so admirable, creating something that will easily go over the heads of a majority of its audiences yet not relenting on his vision for a second. The film is packed with hidden themes and Korine's abilities in making them all work together is brilliant.
'Spring Breakers' is essentially a film about the American dream and how it has changed (deteriorated ?) over time. While I am not overly sure, I have always believed the American Dream to be starting a family, be successful etc. The American as portrayed in this film is to have a good time and party hard. The film seems to show that society's party culture is ugly and terrifying and we may be investing our values into the wrong things. While some may claim that the film portrays women in an unflattering light, I believe the opposite.
The film is a success on all technical levels. There are some downright beautiful sequences, especially a heist sequence in the beginning which is expertly filmed. The editing is all very well done but some may not appreciate the overlapping and repeating of dialogue, but I loved it. There is one scene in particular in 'Spring Breakers' that really set it apart for me and made me realize that I love the film, it was a sequence where Alien plays the Britney Spears song 'Everytime' on the piano which leads into a montage of the girls and Alien partaking in robberies. I really can't explain how utterly magnificent and beautiful scene this is. Just unbelievable and hands down the best thing I have seen in Cinema this year.
There are plenty of strong Acting performances throughout the film. A major talking point around the films release was the fact that it stars Disney stars Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens. Both Actress do a great job, Gomez was probably was my favorite of the girls and she really does a good job playing the most sympathetic and down to earth of the group. Hudgens is also very good and goes to great lengths to shed her Disney image. James Franco plays Alien and does so in incredible fashion. He is both and loveable and frightening at the same time. Its a mesmerizing performance and Franco is brilliant as usual. Also I had no idea that Jeff Jarrett had a role in this film! it was awesome!
I know that some may not share my opinion, but I think 'Spring Breakers' is a brilliant piece of Cinema. A hypnotic film that it is orchestrated in genius fashion by Harmony Korine. Bound to go down as one of the most memorable films of 2013.
EDIT: Fuck it, I'm bumping the rating up to 4 and 1/2.