I knew “Spring Breakers” was special from the moment I saw it. Director Harmony Korine’s film is a finely crafted work of art which touches on intricate social issues while flaunting its bikini-clad stars.
The movie centers around four college girls who desperately want to spend their spring break in Florida. Once there, the girls run into some trouble and are momentarily saved by sociopathic drug-dealer Alien (James Franco), who promises them a week they will never forget.
Having one of the only developed characters, Selena Gomez excels in her performance as the Christian good-girl Faith. Franco’s portrayal as the gangster Alien is phenomenal, demonstrating his versatility as an actor. Unfortunately, Ashley Benson (Brit), Vanessa Hudgens (Candy) and Rachel Korine (Cotty) aren’t able to showcase their acting, having assumed characters that aren’t really given room to grow. Still, their performances are believable and add to the atmosphere.
The first half is like a music video, laden with images of breasts, drugs and sex. Even though Korine, known for his experimental style, tries to glam it up with unfocused shots and echoing voice overs, the beginning is a bit boring, as is he is trying too hard to be artistic. In the second half, he creates a world saturated in neon colors, intricate characters and hypnotic music that both invigorates and repulses the audience.
The film initially seems like another cautionary tale for young adults, but the lines of morality quickly blur and issues on race, gender and sexuality sit just under the movie’s exterior. This undercurrent is so finely hidden that most viewers will likely not pick up on the subtlety.