My “Spring Breakers” Review.
Not a spoiler free zone**** Note: All quotes are not 100% correct. I’m just writing them as I recall.
This film is unlike any other, though it does have similar aspects to Harmony’s other films, but it truly is an artistic and original piece that will surely be remembered. Between seeing the young actresses step out of their comfort zones, to the music-video-esque undertones, to James’ astonishingly creepy yet magnetic performance, Spring Breakers is a definite highlight in modern cinema.
The film starts off with a very loud, and graphic scene involving a large group of people partying on the beach. There are bright colours, and the score by Skrillex pounds in your ears, and you become surrounded with images of drinking, jumping and enthusiastic “Spring Breakers.”
Suddenly, with the sound of a gun being loaded, you cut to Vanessa Hudgens (Candy) with a bong, alongside Ashley Benson (Brit). There is no sound except for the inhale of smoke and drugs. Rachel Korine (Cotty) is seen lying on a couch, half naked. The room they are present in is dark and messy. Soon, we witnessed Selena Gomez (Faith) taking part in religious activities looking very unsatisfied and bored. This is the tone for the movie before the girls take part in the robbing of a restaurant and shortly after, spring break.
Selena Gomez, I felt, had the most developed character. We saw pieces of her life, her strong belief in god and the people around her urging her to be “good and holy.” Obviously, she has been tempted by her friends to take part in illegal activities, which shows us that she isn’t a very strong willed chracter. But being the first of the 4 to return home, we learn that she has limits. I, personally, enjoyed seeing Selena on screen, played a much more authentic character than usual.
As for Rachel Korine, I was impressed with her performance. While she seemed slightly independent from Brit and Candy (Ashley and Vanessa), she was very much a wild and naive character, believing she could live with Alien (James Franco) without being in danger. She eventually learned her lesson when she was shot in the arm by Alien’s enemy (and old best friend). That was the breaking point for her, and she soon retreated to safety.
Brit and Candy were very much one character split into two people. The same could be said for all of the girls, each bringing different dimensions to what could be one whole being. But Brit and Candy had very similar personalities. Both aggressive, careless and thrill seeking, they endured the longest spring break. While limited background information was given, a lot could be learned from the girls behavior and reaction to the given circumstances.
Each of the 4 women gave respectable performances.
Saving the best for last, Alien played by James Franco.
When James is introduced, rapping while the girls party, you see him as a very superficial character. He’s throwing around money, and he speaks trashily (not a real word, but you get it), and he’s got grills in his teeth and corn rows. Once the 4 get placed in jail, he arrives at their court trial, looking very thoughtful, sitting at the back. From the look of his facial expressions, you can tell he’s thinking of what he should do and that it’s gonna be risky. And so, he bails them out of jail. In his first interaction with them, he tries to convince them to get in his very expensive looking car, with the license plate “BALLR”. Cotty is the first to take Alien’s offer and gets in the car. We then cut to a scene where James asks if they “got crazy?.” Repeating “did you get crazy?” which received an eruption of laughs from the audience. When asking them if they participated in girl on girl activities he comments “Are you best friends forever? You guys like doing that stuff to each other?” which only gained more laughs. Alien continues to talk, introducing himself and getting to know the 4. His mannerisms, his speech, his questions are all very comical but combined with his appearance (which is a little comical, too) and the power he lets everyone know he has, makes him a very feared character. Soon, we see Alien by a lake, with his car, showing off some guns, all smiles, tapping them together.
James played this character so well, you didn’t know if you wanted to be Alien’s best friend or not. He was charming, yet terrifying. He was hilarious, yet had very serious intentions. All you knew was that seeing Alien on screen brought life into the film. It brought humour, and danger and a little bit of romance to the screen. Both times I saw it, the second James appearance on, everyone focused a little bit more, they laughed a little bit louder, reacted a little bit stronger. He was the ultimate entertaining character. And what I find to always be important is that you never once thought, “oh, there’s James Franco playing Alien.” Alien was so present that James wasn’t even thought of.
A few more memorable lines from James are “Spring Break,” a line he repeated many of times, in a slow whisper. Also, “Everyday, Scarface on repeated. Scarface on constant repeat.”
Harmony did an excellent job of combining Spring Break with danger. He created an entertaining masterpiece, and I applaud him for it. With a perfect balance in all aspects, he formed a fantastic movie, one that I highly recommend everyone watches.