Tuesday, March 26, 2013

MOVIE REVIEW - Spring Breakers

It's always a good day when you are pleasantly surprised at the movies. Spring Breakers may sound like a drunken nude-fest. and it is.  But it is so much more.

Sure, there are plenty of 19 year olds doing drugs, drinking to access, and getting naked while on spring break in Florida.  But it is not glamorized here.  It's there, but it's not pretty. And this movie should scare the daylights out of every parent of a 19 year old girl who goes to spring break.

This is the story of 4 girls from Kentucky, all seemingly from good families who are attending college.  They have normal feelings of wanting to see the world but there is a hint that they may have too much to begin with, and no real appreciation for it.  They want to go to spring break in Florida but as much as they saved, they don't have enough money.  So, after a night of getting high and drinking they steal a car, and rob a local chicken joint at fake gunpoint to get the money they want.  They then drive off to Florida for the time of their lives.

While there, they are with thousands of other 19 year olds, drinking themselves silly, doing drugs, and generally putting themselves out there for whatever self destructive behavior they can.  Then it turns.   They are arrested by local police for drugs and thrown in jail.  But since they have no more money and can't tell their parents, they cannot pay the fine. So it's a few days in jail.   Until a local, small time scum drug dealer pays it for them, and they are free.  

The girls then, out of some form of misplaced gratitude then go off with him and begin a life no one ever dreamed.  They are manipulated by him, their own rebellion and vulnerability to do previously unspeakable things.  Complete with every single behavior any parent would shutter to think of in their worst dreams.  How will these girls get through all of this? 

This is loud, almost deafening social commentary on many fronts.  It is an indictment of the whole culture in general surrounding the perceived right of passage spring break has become for many young people.  It also indicts the cities that allow this incredibly terrible behavior in the name of money.  It shows all that what parents are being told is going on, and what is going on are two different things.  It highlights a completely out of control generation that has no real moral code.  This movie should be commended for it's very accurate portrayal of this ritual that has evolved into something no parent would recognize from their own experience.  Understanding this doesn't pertain to every young person, everywhere. 

What this movie also does well is show you the amazingly thin line that young people walk when they put themselves in the position of complete freedom and are enabled to make huge decisions in the name of fun.   It showcases, be it the worst situation imaginable, what can go wrong for these kids when they are out of control, and not within any bounds whatsoever.   This is scary stuff for any parent.  What this movie says loudly, is "Get your head out of the sand," to the young and the not so young.

Much of how you feel about this movie will depend on how old you are. If you are a college aged or so viewer, you will see this as a celebration of sorts of spring break, with an eye opening element to it.  If you are a parent it will speak to you in a totally different language, stand you straight up with every parents worst nightmare.  This is scary to say the least.

Spring Breakers.  This is very, good and very smart.  Extremely harsh, a hard R rating. Nothing short of eye opening.  Clearly not for everyone, but in its message worth the hard work it can be to make it through.

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