Spring Breakers

Spring Breakers ★★★★

Spring Breakers hates you. It fills every frame with the stuff you’re supposed to like: breasts, coke, guns, sun, girl-on-girl, cash, freedom from society’s rules. It constantly repeats its mantra; it teases and it torments, but then refuses to deliver exactly what you expect.

The girls, with their vapid conversations, childlike handstands, rarely shown out of their (strangely infantalising) bikinis and in proper clothes, have no concrete choices. They can choose to live in Suburban America, with its endlessly repeating pattern of days and faked religious fervour, Spring Break America with its vapid hedonism and excess, or in Criminal America with its gangsta vocab, guns, violence and idiotic tribalism.

Korine presents all these options as dead ends; nothing satisfies; there are no answers; the neon saturation masks the grime only for so long. This is perhaps the most nihilistic mainstream release of the last decade, and its surface emptiness is intended as a comment on its audience as much as it is on the times. In this world, America isn’t even a dream – it’s a hollow shell of a concept, free of consequence or purpose.

An audacious, divisive experiment in finding depth in the shallowest of subject matter, forcing you to question what’s pleasurable, what’s desirable and what’s intellectually vacuous, Spring Breakers actually ends up being surprisingly introspective and... really rather brilliant.

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