Spring Breakers

Spring Breakers ★★★½

Visually, there's some astonishing cinematography going on - especially towards the end. It has this wonderful dream-like quality at times that is captivating. It's this weird combination of arthouse and exploitation cinema, simultaneously serving as a critique and revelling in what it critiques.

The direction itself is disassociating, always holding the audience at arms length from the party, leaving 95% of the scenes montages with voiceover. It's like if Terrence Malick took a step back from nature to obsess over butts. The pacing is strange, to the point that the time elapsed feels a lot longer than the facts we're given, as if showing a unending surreal adventure through the night. This irritated me at first, as I didn't know the characters or story well enough to care about anything, but it won me over by the end.

The performances from the girls are all good (particularly Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez), but James Franco stands out (I'm not usually a fan) in a role that's downright bizarre. It's nice to see him abandon his regular persona completely, and for the film not to go down the well-trodden route of the mysterious charming stranger showing his real face and the girl(s) getting punished for it (looking at you, Showgirls). His relationship with the girls is less one of predator/prey and more one of existentially empty characters enabling each other's sociopathy.

Ultimately, I'm unsure whether to rate it 3 1/2 stars or 4, but went with the second because I feel the movie is of social significance to this generation, both as a depiction and a critique. It's definitely not for everyone.

Jack liked this review