Spring Breakers: A Saturated Satire

Texas Tech’s spring break may have been last week, but that doesn’t mean it’s really over, not if Spring Breakers can make you change your mind. The film hit theatres nationwide today, and does everything it can to show that spring break is certainly NOT over.

 

Release Date: March 22, 2013 (nationwide)

Director and Screenwriter: Harmony Korine

Stars: James Franco, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine

Genre: Crime/Comedy Drama

Saturated in neon, dosed with crude language, and peppered with drug use, nudity, and sex, Spring Breakers is a hard film to spot the satire in. To the over-stimulated eye, this movie is trashy, pointless, and offensive. But that’s the point. 

The hazy, diversely-styled film follows four friends – Faith, Candy, Brit, and Cotty (played by Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, and Rachel Korine) – who want nothing more than to escape their hum-drum college town for an exciting spring break. But they have no money to do it with. Instead of settling, three of the four (one, ironically named Faith, is deemed too good for this heist and is left out) rob patrons of a local diner with squirt guns and a stolen car. Then all four set off for a coastal Florida city, where they throw themselves into nonstop partying, drug use, and sexual encounters.

The fun comes to a halt when the foursome find themselves arrested after one such party and they’re told to pay their fines or spend two more nights in jail. Resigned to spending more time behind bars, they are surprised when Alien (James Franco), a sleazy rapper/hustler, posts their bail and invites them into his circle. Faith is extremely uncomfortable with this and leaves for home. The other three stay, and indulge in Alien’s frivolous, if not dangerous, lifestyle.

However, the rest of spring break continues to spiral downward further and further into debauchery and cruelty. The film ends on a rather ambiguous, incomplete note, leaving the audience blinking dazedly and left to wonder if money may have been misspent.

 

I can’t say I hate this movie, but I can’t say I like it, either. I went for Harmony Korine, the film’s writer and director (who also wrote Kids), known for his non-linear and metaphorical storytelling. This film is truly a commentary on the culture of consumption constantly being prettily packaged and thrown at teenagers and young adults. Plus, it’s quite visually stunning, has a cool soundtrack, and uses lines stated throughout the movie as background; spoken motif. But it does push the limit, and I’ll even say it pushes NC-17, though the film is rated R.

The Spring Breaker’s trailer does not do it justice. What you think you see is not what you will get, and don’t expect the normal blockbuster formula Hollywood typically churns out, either. But be warned: You might need to take a shower afterwards.

 

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About Raina Shannon
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