Starring: Israel Broussard, Katie Chang, Taissa Farmiga, Leslie Mann and Emma Watson
Review Written By: Michael Dalton (Prime Minister)
The Bling Ring is a film where shallow and annoying people do shallow and annoying things, it would therefore be an easy mistake to unfairly label the film itself shallow and annoying. At no point does it seem as if Coppola is sympathizing with her protagonists and the film itself appears to have a haughty, patronizing, mocking distance from the characters it portrays. It is a film that displays more than it damns consumerism and celebrity obsessed culture, with it perhaps due to its origins and nature, failing to point the finger at itself and the way in which Hollywood causes certain actions, however that would call for a different kind of film. The film isn’t making a particularly original or brave statement in saying that people are obsessed with material wealth and the private lives of celebrities, as well as becoming famous themselves, however it is an unoriginal, accepted message that is portrayed in a rather excitingly and effective manner. Though the fact that many films have portrayed such a message in perhaps stronger ways definitely numbs this film and why it perhaps doesn’t feel as smart or edgy as it wants to be and thinks it is.
However while Coppola’s script may be numbed by the popularity of the message and the target being smaller than it could be, her direction continually augments the film. A shot that stands out in particular is a long wide shot of one of the houses as it is being robbed, with us merely seeing the near stick figures in the distance as they go from floor to floor, turning on and off different lights before leaving. Coppola infuses the film with a pace and energy that reflects the fast and furious lives these kids believe they are living. And as somebody of a similar age to these protagonists, a lot of the actions, dialogue and behaviour of these characters rings true and reminded me of people I’ve seen and know. Coppola also has a good ear for music with this film having a soundtrack that is both thematically and tonally resonant as well as just plain easy on the ears.
In regards to the acting, once again we have the shallow and annoying issue. Israel Broussard has the biggest transformation as Marc Hall, whilst all the other characters are essentially the same note throughout the film. In the third act when their lives start to crumble it would have been possible to explore different dimensions however the film doesn’t do so and for a reason. Though a bit more explanation as to who got what punishment and why would have been interesting and appreciated. Emma Watson is the standout of the cast both in status and performance, given arguably the film’s best and most interesting character. With Emma Watson the knives always seem to be out with people ready to tear her down after her Harry Potter fame but with this, Perks of Being a Wallflower and her cameo in This is the End, she is here and here to stay, demonstrating acting chops and better project choices and opportunities than either Harry or Ron, sorry I mean Daniel Radcliffe or Rupert Grint.
Overall The Bling Ring is a short, fast paced, energetically made film that has something to say even if the edge and interest of what it has to say has been numbed by the fact that its been said. It portrays an attitude and state of mind that many could unfairly say it represents and indulges in, whilst the scope and exploration of its targets perhaps could have been wider, deeper and a little more critical as opposed to comical.
Movie Parliament Rating: MINORITY GOVERNMENT
By Movie Parliament Prime Minister,
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