Spring Breakers (2012), Dir. Harmony Korine

Spring Breakers (2012), Dir. Harmony Korine
Spring break. Spring break. Spring break fo’ever.
— Alien, Spring Breakers (2012)

Stars: Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, James Franco, Rachel Korine, Gucci Mane.
Director: Harmony Korine
Screenplay: Harmony Korine

Neon, soundtrack, montage, voice-over, spring, bikinis, scooters, money, guns, murder, Britney Spears; Break. Spring break forever.

The combination of all these elements creates a visual and audio experience through the mind of its creator, Harmony Korine. His name is apt as he blends these elements to create a harmony that is unsettling yet inescapable. There are times that you wish the film stopped but it also invites you to indulge in its unsettling feeling. A cinematic trip that lets you be a voyeur into a world you would rather not belong in.

Spring Breakers relies on the uncomfortableness, the grossness, the unease. It relies on you to feel empathetic for the innocence of some characters while at the same time experience a disconnect with others. The character of Faith (Selena Gomez) has an important role of the litmus test of the amount of realistic fun you can have before it turns into something more sinister. She is our consciousness in this world of gangs, partying, drugs, and fun. 

This film can be broken into 5 acts. They are finite. They break up the film as it delves deeper and darker. They are placed in as a check of our own sensibilities. They give us the out of this story, we can escape if we so choose. The characters are always given an out on the road they are travelling. The bus is always there to take them home if they so choose. They have the choice to get off the rollercoaster that is leading them further down the neon rabbit hole. Some choose to take the bus, allowing them to keep their humanity and innocence while others choose to stay in wonderland and as the hole goes deeper and the more control they have on the darkness. The further these girls go the more they lose their humanity. They actively choose this path, they actively choose to control the night and the neon lights. No longer are they being lead but they eventually become the leaders. 

The girls play certain roles; the innocent one Faith, the logical one Cotty (Rachel Korine), and the depraved Candy and Brit (Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Benson). Candy and Brit are enigmas. They are the leaders and unlike the other two girls they really are not people. They seem to embody something darker, these two girls who look and act alike are sinister. You cannot trust them as they lead you further down a path you know you should have already gotten off of. They never see the bus as an option, they reject the notion that their real lives are the escape from the freedom they so seek. Their freedom does not come from a good old time but from the power that they could possess. Possess the power over a man (Alien played by James Franco) who believes he is the one in control, power of the world they have been introduced to, and power of the abilities that they can do whatever they please without any consequences. These girls are scary, they are scary because you know they would be able to do anything they choose to and no one should have that kind of power.

This film can be read in so many different ways, which makes this film so re-watchable. It invites you in but it never lets you go. As Alien's mantra goes "Spring break, spring break, spring break fo'ever."