pirs’s review published on Letterboxd:
A Harmony Korine (director of Gummo and writer of Kids) film starring former Disney princesses Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez, along with James Franco. About spring break. Everyone already knew this was going to be worthy of attention, but not everyone was looking for such an interesting result.
It all begins on a small city, where life is boring. Autumn is almost over and you know what that means. Spring Break. The problem is our four main characters don't have enough money to travel and have fun at the beach. So three of them decide to rob a restaurant. Young people, you know what's like. The will to do what everyone else is doing is bigger than anything. They must be like the others and the others already went to spring break. So let's do it, whatever it takes. "Just pretend it's a videogame."
Spring Breakers is above all a film about the glamourization of violence, crime and promiscuity, specially amongst teenage girls. You can tell that from the movie's first scene. Nothing but typical spring break images illustrate the screen, to the sound of Skrillex' classic Scary Monster e Nice Sprites (who made most of the soundtrack, together with Drive's Cliff Martinez). When the song's "drops", it's like the images and behavior they are showing are both spit on your face with extreme aggressiveness (just like the song); Nudity and alcohol, this is spring break. On another particular scene, also playing another Skrillex song, the music mixes with statements from the four main girls saying on phone calls to home how they are enjoying their experience so far. The song has a certain beauty, the images shown are again half-naked people having fun and the way the main characters speak simply convinces you. It truly is a magical place. Everyone is so nice, we met so many new friends, we're having so much fun, I don't ever want to go home.
Thing is, if you are familiar with Harmony Korine, you know the movie is not gonna end up like an MTV ad. When James Franco's character is introduced (a rapper, probably the best acting role of his career; he does an amazing job) by bailing the girls out of jail "for no apparent reason", the film's vibe changes. After all, why do older men want to be surrounded by younger women? Of course, during our teenage years, we are all so naive. They see nothing but how cool Alien is (the character's name), because of his rapping, drug dealing, loads of money, guns, tattoos and grillz.
Spring Breakers is not a film about a group of girls trying to have fun. It's an analysis of an empty generation where everything is artificial. The movie is practically made of neon, bright colors on the dark of night. It is about the extremes of chasing the "american dream" (get rich or die trying), that goes through materialism's hedonism to nihilism's indifference.
An hypnotizing piece of work.