Friday, June 21, 2013

The Bling Ring: Movie Review


Eventually finds the root of all evil, at least in the heart of teenage girls living in the suburbs of fame and fortune.
“The Bling Ring” starts out slowly; trying to grab your attention with sports cars, night clubs and expensive clothes. But that’s a superficial attraction – it only works on a particular group of people. Meet Rebecca (Katie Chang), Marc (Israel Broussard), Chloe (Claire Julien), Nicki (Emma Watson) and Sam (Taissa Farmiga), the bling ring crew, who rob the homes of Hollywood’s rich and famous. 2013

Directed by: Sofia Coppola

Screenplay by: Sofia Coppola
Based on the article by Nancy Jo Sales

Starring: Katie Chang, Israel Broussard and Emma Watson

Katie Chang (Rebecca) and Taissa Farmiga (Sam) in THE BLING RING,
an eOne Films release.
They’re teenagers in rich homes in the Hollywood Hills – but by “rich” I mean, rich to you and I, not rich to themselves or their celebrity neighbours. They just do what they can to fit in, to resemble their idols. Four hundred dollars from a successful movie producer or one designer pair of sunglasses from Paris Hilton will go unnoticed. It’s insignificant to the wealth of their victims, but the bling ring crew will put it to good use.

Early on we do want more to this high-fashion heist film. What are the girls’ original motivation factors? And how far will they go? That’s where more accomplished actors come in handy. In Sofia Coppola’s previous celebrity life-style, character study film, “Somewhere” (2010), Stephen Dorff is able to portray so much of his internal thoughts and personal struggles with just a look. So much is said with so little. Highly glamourized shots of sparkling jewelry doesn’t quite say as much.

Emma Watson (Nicki) in THE BLING RING, an eOne Films release.
The more to “The Bling Ring” does eventually come through. Some of the criminals are able to vocalize why they’re doing what they’re doing. It should be pretty obvious if you think of them as regular teenagers even if they don’t look, sound or act like them. Others in the gang are able to delude themselves and that’s why we keep watching, to see how far each of them can go. We’ve seen a lot of the evil side of money and celebrity-obsession and these girls are definitely capable of reaching those heights.

(L-R) Taissa Farmiga, Israel Broussard, Emma Watson, Katie Chang, and
Claire Julien in THE BLING RING, an eOne Films release.
One thing that “The Bling Ring” accomplishes that few other films do is to get the regular audience thankful that we didn’t grow up in Hollywood. Emulating our neighbours and friends do not turn us into money hungry thieves where cash doesn’t just buy you clothes but buys you the realization that you’ll never have enough. These girls have been raised in an environment where Lindsay Lohan is an example of the type of person you want to be. Life can be hard for teenage girls; it can be downright impossibly, tantalizingly evil for teenage girls living just a stone’s throw away from fame and fortune.

Similar Titles:

Spring Breakers (2012) - Breaks the spring-break-genre mold by telling a dark story of college girls going to darker and darker places.

Somewhere (2010) - Somewhere is an indescribable place, but a beautiful one.

The Brass Teapot (2012) - Takes a dark comedy premise and makes it funny only and light on discernment.