Spring Breakers & the Victims of Popular Culture

Spirituality, sexuality, and money all wrapped up in one visually filling experience of a movie, Spring Breakers.

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Spring Breakers is about four girls going to Florida for spring break. They’re introduced to us as typical representations of the teenage girl in today’s society – victims of popular culture. Faith (Selena Gomez) is introduced to us during her religious youth group meeting where the leader is speaking of the Bible and is speaking of Jesus Christ but in a commercialized way. All she seems to desire is a “break” from reality. Then we are introduced to Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Brit (Ashley Benson), and Cotty (Rachel Korine) who are not pushed so deep into “reality” as Faith is and seem to be clawing their way to the edge, not knowing what awaits them and if they face an obstacle, they tell themselves to “just pretend like you’re in a video game. Act like you’re in a movie or something.”

Spring Breakers is a contradiction within itself. It’s the sort of film that makes you catch yourself in the act if you will. The spectator finds himself fascinated by the deviant world of spring break and is caught in the diversion of it all, but realizes that the characters in the film are under the same influence. They, also, have been hypnotized by what is right and what is wrong with that cathartic and liberating release of rules and confinement.

The film is a visually alert one. In order for the spectator to be so entranced by the idea of spring break, the film is given an eye-candy feel to it. The only time there does not seem to be any colour and just dullness is when one of the girls would leave to go home.

A notable mention is the soundtrack, the use of Skrillex’s song Scary Monsters and Nice Spirits. It’s a subtle but accurate reflection of the film. The film opens with that song while showing a large group of teenagers enjoying themselves at the beach. The “nice spirits” section of the song shows us the carefree world of spring break, the reaching-the-peak-of-anticipation from finally getting a break from school. And then when its switches to the “scary monsters” section of the song, we suddenly see the vulgarity of it all – the nudity, the objectification, the irresponsibility.

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