Imagine this. Someone is presented with a pool filled with all kinds of garbage, waste, decaying matter and the like.
They are then told there is money at the bottom of it.
So they hop in, dig deeper and deeper into the stinking filth, only to find a few pieces of loose change.
When the digger finally realizes this, someone laughs and says, “But it was fun, right?”
Sitting through “Spring Breakers” was a comparable experience.
Notorious independent writer/director, Harmony Korine, who once directed a film titled “Trash Humpers,” brings us a neon-lit, dubstep-infused tale of partying, sex, drugs and general debauchery.
In the film, Faith (Selena Gomez), Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Brit (Ashley Benson) and Cotty (Rachel Korine) are four girls eager to escape to the beach for Spring Break, but are in desperate need of cash.
After a robbery to acquire the necessary funds, the girls head out to the coast for the time of their lives.
Things were going great for the friends, until a drug bust put them in jail.
However, a shady rapper and drug/arms dealer, by the name of Alien (James Franco), decided to bail them out.
What followed was a dark tale, which chronicled just how far the girls were willing to go for their “good times.”
It was also a test of how long the audience was willing to stick around to stomach everything that happened.
How the film got away with an R-rating is beyond belief; “Spring Breakers” contains some of the raunchiest and dirtiest depictions of the party lifestyle ever put on screen.
Korine, himself, attested to studying actual spring break video footage (and pornography) to accurately portray the events surrounding the main characters.
What resulted isn’t just a film that glorifies and relishes irresponsible behavior.
Rather, Korine pulls off a much more heinous crime; he flip-flops between painting it in an unfavorable light, while simultaneously reveling in it.
It encouraged audiences to believe the film was a morality tale, more than anything else.
While there certainly is somewhat of a message here, the film completely contradicts itself when getting it across and throws off the entire tone of the film.
This is especially so once the girls meet Alien; it is almost a completely different film from that point on.
The craft that went into the film also attested to there being “more to it.”
The highly stylized, neon-lit aesthetics are hypnotic in their own right, aided by the way the camera seemed to float along as it captured everything that happened.
Essentially, Korine is attempting to make art of trash, and it doesn’t work very well.
Perhaps the biggest thing to note in this film were a few of its stars.
Former Disney stars Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens seek to shatter their own squeaky-clean images here, and they do a fine job of it.
James Franco also lends some star power to the film, chewing scenery as the over-the-top gangster, Alien.
When he finally made his appearance, it was a very welcome addition to the film; Franco owned the role and stole the show.
But for this film, was it really that hard to do?
“Spring Breakers” tries to have it both ways.
It tries to be trashy, stylized, indulgent fun and a thriller with art-house flourishes.
It both glorifies its irresponsible behavior and inappropriate content and delivers a morality tale.
But it really is nothing more than a repulsive, disgusting and ultimately empty film, whose only “message” comes off as hollow and hypocritical to anyone with a properly working moral compass.
Email comments to crh...@latech.edu.