"Spring Breakers" is a film which tells the story of four American college students who are sick of life in their quiet home town, desperate to get out and experience the exciting world of spring break in Florida.
They are, in fact, so determined to escape that they decide to hold up a convenience store with water pistols in order to make enough cash for the trip. From then on there seems to be nothing these girls won't do to try and break out of their suburban hometown mould. Faith, Candy, Brit and Cotty are very different girls with very different reasons for wanting to go on spring break (spring break, wooh!), but together they become entangled in a holiday of sun, sand, sex, drugs, machine guns and gangsters.
Director Harmony Korine has made what initially appears to be some very unusual casting choices for these four dangerous and at times deranged femme fatales. With "High School Musical"'s Vanessa Hudgens, as Candy, spouting lines no mother would like to hear a daughter say, and Justin Bieber's ex, Selina Gomez, starring as the somewhat less extreme but still semi-naked, booze-guzzling Faith, this film has clearly been designed to shock its audience and defy expectations.
James Franco also delivers a performance which will baffle those fans who think they known him. He stars as 'Alien', the gangster who takes these girls under his wing and tips them over the edge into a life of crime. All five of this film's leads do, however, deliver unforgetable performances. Certainly any High School Musical fans shall certainly never be able to look at Vanessa Hudgens the same way again.
The most interesting part of this film is not the characters or the plot, however, it is the unusual and at times bone chilling sensations it engenders in its viewers. Harmony Korine has created an incredibly surreal cinematic piece that brings the audience closer to the experience had by the protagonists themselves. He wants to take us on spring break with them.
There are a legion of lengthy scenes panning along a sunny Florida beach with heavy music pounding in our ears as we close in on hundreds of partying twenty-somethings, as they dance and grope each other, half-naked, dowsing each other in beer and various other intoxicating substances.
The most unique aspects of this film are the unusual choices made in the cinematography and also the sound. Korine wants to confuse and disturb his viewers, and as such she mixes up different uses of colour and speed and also music, combining music typical of the setting - drum and bass, hip hop - with some completely bizarre choices, such as Brittany Spears' "Everytime".
One particularly mesmerising yet terrifying scene involves the aforementioned Spears tune being sung by Franco's Alien as three of our leading ladies dance in a circle holding machine guns and wearing matching pink balaclavas and swimwear. This moment will chill you to the bone.
Korine is exploring what it is like to be young. To be tempted by that which our parents tell us is wicked, to want not to lead a boring life. Yet, mainly he appears to be exploring how cinema can truly freak out his audience. Whether you like "Spring Breakers" or not, you will be mesmerised and you will be shaken. It is not often that a movie can do that to its audience.