Life is what you make it. It is one of those phrases which seems to have lost its power and doesn’t mean much anymore, but as Springbreakers shows, it still holds true. When a couple of teenage girls decide that they all want to head to Florida to party during spring break, they are willing to do anything to make sure that they have the money to go there. They want to escape their everyday existence, which has become boring to them. They rob a restaurant and head over to Florida to party and live out their dream, which eventually involves gangsters, guns and drugs.
To me the movie is about the choices you make in your life. Why do some people decide to get wasted on either drugs or alcohol (or both), while others don’t need them to get the same thrills? When the girls are preparing the robbery they are telling each other that the have to be hard, just like in a movie. They have to shut off their emotions and just do it and it is that role they keep playing when they are in Florida, even when the stakes are higher. They seem to get a high out of doing things they are not supposed to do and never take a step back to see what they are doing. Their extreme partying starts to become normal for them so they have to search for something else even if that means they could lose everything. The only person who does take a step back is Faith (Selena Gomez), a deeply religious girl. It made me think if she represents specific norms and values we should return to, because else we run the risk of running out of control.
The big draw for many will be the main stars, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine, who became famous with their “family values” image. This movie shatters that image and adds to the shock value the movie has. It has nudity, drugs and guns and almost glamorizes it, but because the movie repeats a lot of things they end up feeling empty and meaningless, which I thought was an impressive thing to portray. Are all these things really worth taking risks over? The actresses have some memorable moments (when they are singing a Britney Spears song or re-enact the robbery, but it is James Franco as rapper/gangster who steals the show. His character is one you will remember for his crazy style, speech and lifestyle. Springbreakers isn’t a movie everyone will be able to enjoy, partly because the visuals are also very different, but it is a movie that can make you think about its message and I’m sure that message isn’t the same for every person watching it.