Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

“Bling Ring” hits theaters and lands in mediocre category

The Bling Ring opened to audiences in the Los Angeles area on June 14, and is getting mixed reviews; just like all of director Sofia Coppola’s films.

The Bling Ring, based off of true events, stars Katie Chang, Israel Broussard, Emma Watson, and Taissa Farmiga as the group of teenage thieves that burglarized celebrities’ homes back in 2008 and 2009. Coppola’s delivery of the story is questioning, but the subtext she is trying to portray is a great point that affects all young adults growing up in this era.
The story follows a group of teens whose small petty crimes change into large-scale robberies at the homes of such celebrities as Paris Hilton, Audrina Patridge, Rachel Bilson, Megan Fox, Miranda Kerr, and Lindsay Lohan.

These teens turn to crime not necessarily because they’re malicious or low income, they’re all portrayed as coming from upscale Los Angeles homes, but for the mere fact that they want to attain nice designer clothes and expensive jewelry as if to live the life of these celebrities they look up to. In fact only the character Marc seems to think they are really doing anything wrong while the others don’t, until it’s too late. Still the motives for their apologies are very questionable.

Coppola’s work is often criticized for lack of quality in her scripts, films ending with no real conclusion or sometimes seemingly pointless stories. Her films can often have a dragged out quality to them; having you sitting in your seat thinking to yourself ‘why have I been staring at this same shot for the past five minutes?’ Some call it “artsy” while others would just plain call it boring.

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The Bling Ring is no exception with simple dialogue and extended scenes, but at least the story comes sort of full circle at the end, which is a nice change from some of her prior films.

Yet, with all the bad that could be said about Coppola’s work you have to admit that her visual take of her films are amazing. The Bling Ring is painted beautifully showcasing sunny Los Angeles California, with eye pleasing scenes outdoors and in nightclubs. Each visual choice is paired up perfectly with what is going on in the scene.

The performances of the actors vary at times. In the beginning of the movie the actors’ delivery is questionable, coming of fairly fake. As the movie plays out though, you realize that this isn’t bad directorial direction from Coppola, but the personalities of these teens who have grown up in a superficial environment where material things and beauty are top priority.

Bling Ring also proves that Watson can play a character not typical of her usual choices. Yet in the film there are no real character arcs, which in most films is crucial element.

The story of these teenage robbers is an interesting story, but the underlying subtext of the film is the only great thing about this movie. These teens are shown as being obsessed with celebrity life styles, shown in scenes hanging out looking through tabloids or on the Internet keeping up to date with the scandals on gossip sites. The strange thing with this is that a large part of society actually does this.

People always seem to be interested in subjects like if Kim Kardashian is breast feeding her newborn, what ridiculous wig Amanda Bynes will wear next, or Justin Bieber’s driving speed. These stories are sometimes even stupidly reported as top stories on our news stations. It brings to question if modern society is truly obsessed with famous people’s lives. Nonetheless the fact that what are we actually praising these celebrities for? Many are famous for what they wear; who they are dating, how many DUIs they accumulate, alcohol and drug problems, or other things that shouldn’t validate the importance of someone.

With this, it seems that the idea of working hard and being a “good” person in order to attain wealth, a social status, and a good life isn’t how the young of our society thinks. Especially when we see certain people who times don’t seem smart, hard working or compassionate rise above us. This could arguably be a cause why these teens turn to robbery, the lack of the idea that “hard work” is the only way to get nice things.

Another insight into society that The Bling Ring throws in the audience face is the rapid growth of people sharing and documenting their private life on social Internet sites. One of the downfalls of the movie’s thieves are that they constantly are taking photos of themselves in these broken into homes, or with newly robbed designer bags and posting them on the internet. They are so engulfed in portraying themselves as living a lavished life as the celebrities they rob from.

Practically everyone, especially people in their twenties, have accounts with sites such as Facebook, Instagram, twitter and more social media. It seems like our society has also become obsessed with the idea of self-advertising, promoting their life as something truly interesting. From the events we attend, to the outfits we wear, even to the food we eat, we get some sort of validation from posting these things on the Internet; the ultimate attempt to become “cool”.

The Bling Ring all around is a pretty picture of high society’s teens whose priorities are seemingly wrong but yet are common of society. The film, although not being “box office magic”, is still at times entertaining and eye opening to our generation’s obsession with self image and superficial things.

People who are fans of Coppola will be satisfied. Young adults will leave the theater questioning their own priorities. Or maybe even, you may walk out of the theater and take a “selfie” of yourself, post it on Facebook and proclaim “movie night”.

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