19 July 2013 | themissingpatient
Terrence Malick's Girls Gone Wild
Faith, played by Selema Gomez, and her three very close friends plan to escape their boring college dorm lives to attend a massive Spring Break party. In order to pay for their getaway, her three friends commit an unthinkable act of terror. Their Spring Break vacation turns out to be a non-stop party of drunken drug use and sexual perversion that lands them in prison. This is when Alien, played by James Franco, bails them out and a new type of party begins.
With a dub-step softcore porn music video opening sequence, it is uncertain if Spring Breakers is glorifying the demoralizing activities portrayed or if it is a satire. Even when the film is not flashing to what looks like stock footage of a Girls Gone Wild Spring Break special and we are with the girls, the framing seems to have been done by a sex addict. This will be one of the most uncomfortable experiences Selema Gomez's fans will ever experience. For parents, this will be an absolute nightmare. Younger male audiences, on the other hand, will think they've found their new favorite movie. When the girls are introduced to Alien the film feels like it gets a new director. The feeling of a Girls Gone Wild narrative feature film is lost and we are filled with a great sense of dread. Who is this guy who calls himself Alien? We even find ourselves afraid to find out what he has planned for these young girls he has bailed out of prison.
As we continue through the second half of the film, it becomes very clear that we are in fact watching a satire. A horrific and effective satire. This is done though exposing the character of Alien and much credit must be given to James Franco, this is him at his best. Through the course of the film we go from fearing him, to laughing at him, to feeling sorry for him. The film is worth watching just for Franco's performance. The girls do an excellent job as well. These are easily two of the most frightening female characters ever put on-screen.
Spring Breakers is written and directed by Harmony Korine, the writer of Kids and director of Gummo. If you've seen anything he has written or directed you already know what you are in for. It has the core of a Natural Born Killers story wrapped in layers of what would be if Terrence Malick directed Girls Gone Wild.
What ends up becoming an annoying distraction is the repetition of dialogue we hear over and over again, playing in a loop. It's understood we are in the girl's shoes, things are spiraling out of control and the editing helps get that across. Some of it works but in the end, we've heard the same things so many times it is as if Korine is hammering the message of his satire into our heads, almost desperate to prove it has a point. Through the story it's meaning is made clear, no reason to over-use certain Malick-like editing techniques to over-state what the story has already made obvious.
The core story is genius. The way in which the story is told is split between things that play out like a master at work and a new filmmaker still experimenting.